INTERVAL TRAINING is simply alternating bursts of more intense cardiovascular exercise with intervals of lower intensity for recovery. These “sets” are then repeated.
You quickly condition the heart and lungs to work more efficiently by challenging the heart muscle and making it stronger.
Your body burns more fat for energy in the hours after the workout -- Helps you get past a weight loss plateau
You ’ll be less fatigued from daily activities and have more energy throughout the day
“ Mini-Sprint” This represents the more intense activity part of the Interval and can apply to any type of exercise -Power Walking -Running -Swimming -Biking “ Recovery” This is the part of the Interval done at a lower intensity and allows you to prepare for the next “Sprint” Intervals Defined
Quote on Interval Training "High-intensity interval training is twice as effective as normal exercise," said Jan Helgerud, an exercise expert at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. "This is like finding a new pill that works twice as well ... we should immediately throw out the old way of exercising." *The traditional way of doing cardio exercise is to exert yourself at a steady, moderate pace for a period of time--often recommended to be 45-60 minutes at a time.
Strength Training for the Heart Combining the two by using Interval Training is a powerful strategy for Heart Health and Weight Loss
Strength Training / Resistance Exercise – using weight (external or your body) or resistance to increase muscle strength and tone
Cardiovascular / Aerobic Exercise – any exercise that elevates the heart rate and breathing for a sustained period
You don ’t have to be an Olympic Athlete to benefit from Interval Training
Take walking. If you're in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you're less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. For example, if you're walking outdoors, you could walk faster between certain mailboxes, trees or other landmarks.
If you are currently a runner you could alternate sprinting followed by jogging.
Why Should I do it? #1: When your muscles contract repeatedly during more intense activity, they quickly use all available energy. So your body searches for fat—both during the workout and after. #2: When repeated bouts of higher-intensity intervals are separated by short rest periods, each bout begins with a lack of available energy, and muscles that are already fatigued, so the body is challenged to improve.
In a 2008 study presented in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, metabolic interval-type training had a ten-fold greater fat loss when compared to either aerobic exercise or weight training individually.
Researchers at Australia's University of New South Wales found that intervals burn three times as much fat as running twice as long at a moderately hard, steady pace.
Numerous studies found in The Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport, The European Journal of Physiology, The Journal of Sports Nutrition, and The European Journal of Applied Physiology over the last eight years have supported the fat burning and fitness gains from Interval type training.
INTERVAL TRAINING . . . Turn Your Body into a Fat-Burning Machine!
The Key is Afterburn:
The FAT calories you burn AFTER the workout
A study showed that interval training enhances the body's ability to burn fat. Eight women in their 20s were told to cycle for 10 sets of four minutes of hard riding, followed by two minutes of rest. After two weeks, the amount of fat burned in an hour of continuous moderate cycling increased by 36 percent, and their cardiovascular fitness improved by 13 percent.
Intervals for Fat Loss EPOC or “Afterburn” occurs in the body after intense exercise drains muscles of their stored energy source (Glycogen). This has to be replenished in the body, and it can take up to 48 hours to happen. During this time your body has no alternative but to draw on and burn up your fat reserves. So for the next two days while you sit at work, watch TV or even have a nap, your blood cells are rushing around the belly or thighs, grabbing as much of the fat as it can and taking it away to use it as energy, without you having to even think about it... Study after study has proven the incredible fat burning effects that Interval Training can have on the body, in fact in the first bit of research that set interval training as the benchmark for fat loss; the participants lost 9 times as much fat as those doing standard aerobic exercises. It works so well because of a process called EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption ). This is also referred to as the “After Burn”.
Afterburn The Afterburn is the process of your body replacing stored muscular energy (Glycogen) that gets used up during intense exercise. The more energy needed to be replaced, the more fat that will be burned for energy. This Afterburn can go on for up to 48 hours after a workout. The secret to EPOC is intensity. Studies have shown that the more intense the exercise, the longer you will be in a fat burning stage. They have also shown that the more intense the exercise, the greater the volume of fat burning will be. (the one caveat for this is when you are starting out, ease into interval training, don't go full out from the beginning).
ScienceDaily (June 29, 2007) — Interval training burns fat and improves fitness more quickly than constant but moderately intensive physical activity, according to research.
The study found that after interval training, the amount of fat burned in an hour of continuous moderate cycling increased by 36 per cent and cardiovascular fitness increased by 13 per cent.
It did not matter how fit the subjects were before. After interval training, they experienced not only an increase in fat used and in aerobic capacity, but also an increase of enzyme activity in the muscle.
For example with a seasoned athlete their ‘10’ may be a flat out sprint with the athlete going as fast as he or she can.
Another example would be someone who has not exercised in a while decides to do intervals while walking; a 1 minute walk at a brisk pace may leave the person completely out of breath. This would be their 10.
A ‘10’ is merely the maximum amount of effort a person can safely expend for that particular interval.
The intensity of the sprint intervals is how hard you push yourself during the sprint. For simplicity sake the intensity is usually measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being no effort whatsoever while 10 represents the maximum effort possible. Now this is a completely personal scale depending on your own fitness levels and the type of activty.
Rest Intervals The periods of recovery are called Rest Intervals. During a rest interval don ’t stop the activity but generally exercise at a lower intensity. This allows the body to recover from the sprint interval. The length of these rest intervals are determined primarily by your fitness levels and the length of the sprint interval. The rest intervals are important; the basis of interval training is to ensure that your sprints are done at an optimal intensity, without sufficient rest your interval training will resort back to a typical cardio activity.
Getting Started with Intervals Getting Started Guidelines After warming up, increase your pace for a few minutes. It should feel like you are exerting yourself at a moderate level of about “4” or “5” on a perceived exertion scale of 1 to 10. Then periodically increase your intensity to a perceived exertion level of “7” or “8” where you feel like you are working and breathing hard. Don’t push it to the point where you can’t breathe – obviously, breathing is a good thing! A good rule of thumb for pacing your intervals is a 1:3 ratio of high intensity to recovery. For example, if your high intensity interval is 20-30 seconds, then slow down and catch your breath for 60-120 seconds
Your first interval should be fairly strenuous…
You don ’t need a stopwatch… Success has been shown with a variety of Interval lengths from 20 or 30 seconds of sprinting to 3 or 4 minutes of recovery and everything in between. For example, if you don ’t have a watch and if you're walking outdoors, you could walk faster between mailboxes, blocks, trees or other landmarks. You don't need any special equipment. You can simply modify your current routine.
Intervals Research Bike Study (Longer rest intervals) Researchers asked eight college-age men and women on stationary bikes to sprint for 30 seconds, and then either stop or pedal slowly for four minutes. After only two weeks of this interval training, 75 percent of them doubled their endurance. A control group, which exercised also on the stationary bike, but did not do any interval training, showed no improvement in endurance. The marked improvement in the interval training group was even more startling because the volunteers were already fairly fit. .
Interval Training with Equipment You can easily adjust the difficulty levels by adding resistance to the stationary bike or rowing machine, increasing the incline and speed on the treadmill or elliptical machine and other adjustments to the various machines.
Another Interval Benefit The “After burn” from Interval training is only the immediate benefit; over time your body’s ability to convert energy directly into the muscle increases. The muscles ability to store energy increases so your demands for fat release go up, and interval training starts convincing the body to funnel new energy (calories) to the muscles instead of sending them to be stored as fat. All of this increases the more you do interval training, so the better you get at this, the more of a fat burning machine your body turns into.
Interval Ratios The ratio is the breakdown of intense effort vs. recovery. For example—1:3 ratio is one part intense effort followed by 3 parts recovery. 1:3 Interval ratio (Beginning to Intermediate level) 30 seconds of intense activity followed by 90 seconds of recovery 1:2 Interval ratio (Intermediate to Advanced level) 30 seconds intense activity followed by 60 seconds of lower intensity (recovery) 1:1 Interval ratio (Advanced level) 30 seconds of intense activity followed by 30 seconds of recovery These time intervals do not have to be exact to be effective.