I’ve seen interval training get a lot of attention recently because it is supposed to be a quick way to get fit, in this article we look at what it actually is. Interval training is when you use timed intervals to alternate between two different levels of intensity as you exercise. For example, if you were using the treadmill then you could start off gently to warm up at say 5km/h for 5 minutes, then start to alternate between 1 minute at 6km/h and 1 minute at 14km/h, and keep alternating between then for 20 minutes or as long as you want to train for.
The reason this is good is because it allows you to push yourself much harder than you usually would, normally if you warmed up and then went on the treadmill and pushed yourself really hard, then you’d be exhausted in no time at all and you’d then stop, thinking you’ve done enough. With interval training then as you give yourself a recovery period after each period of intense activity, then you give your body a break so it carry on and do another intense interval again and again for a lot longer than you would by doing it in one long session.
I also find that time passes really quickly for me when I do interval training, usually jogging is a chore and I am bored after 5 minutes and need to grit my teeth and stick it out, but with interval training I am always checking how long I have left and preparing for my next interval, so the time goes without me noticing.
Interval training is probably a more natural way to exercise anyway, consider sports, when you are close to the action then you are doing an intense interval as you try and get the ball etc, then you get to rest as the action moves away from you. Also as we have all descended from hunters then that is how a hunter would have exerted himself too.
The treadmill was just an example though, you can actually use interval training to spice up almost any kind of exercise, you could be on the elliptical trainer, the rowing machine, or even out on a normal bike on the roads. The good news is that studies seem to suggest that interval training can elevate your metabolism for hours after you have finished, something most exercise does not do, so you can be burning extra fat even when you get home and watch some TV!
If you really want to get fit fast then you might want to consider reading this Warp Speed Fat Loss review which looks at an intense 28 day program of exercise and dieting to help you lose weight and get fitter.