I is for Intervals.
I love intervals. It’s something I don’t do nearly enough. Sometimes it’s easy for me to just get stuck in a rut where I do the “long boring cardio” routines. That can be time consuming and boring, AND it can cause plateaus in weight loss.
Recently I was chatting with my friend who has been trying to lose weight. He was jogging on the treadmill for I think 30 minutes a day and he wasn’t seeing any changes. He was frustrated with the weight loss that wasn’t happening like he thought it would. I suggested he do more than 30 minutes of exercise.
He didn’t want to do more exercise, which I understand so I suggested he do interval training. Interval training is the BEST way to fit in a high-intensity workout in a short period of time. “HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise which is beneficial to burning fat in a short and intense workout. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 9–20 minutes.”
Interval training with running is beneficial too. Doing intervals when running will increase your speed as a runner. When I was training a lot I’d do interval workouts once in awhile to “liven things up.” Sometimes training can be long and boring and changing things up makes it fresh and new. It’s also nice to do sprints in running when you are short on time. If I wasn’t able to do my full run, I’d do sprints around the track. Typically that means that I’d sprint in the long stretches and then walk in the curves on the track. It was a great workout! Try this website for a beginner’s interval routine.
Interval training is also good for cyclists. Over the summer I practiced interval training on my bike and I felt a huge difference with that workout. On long, straight stretches of road or trail it’s much easier to try speed training on the bike. I biked as fast as I could for as long as I could and got my heart rate spiked high. I burned way more calories doing that than I would on a normal, steady bike ride.
Another reason interval training is a good thing is because it’s easy to get stuck in a fitness rut. When that happens our bodies get used to the workout and stop losing weight. Plateaus can be very frustrating.
How to Do Interval Training
I’m not a personal trainer, I’m just sharing my experience with trying sprint training. I started with a slow jog to warm up. Then I went for it. Getting started is easy–just go super fast, super hard for 15 or 30 seconds. That’s a good beginner time. Your whole body should be burning. Then walk. Rinse and repeat.
Start easy–do the workout for 15 minutes. When I first started doing intervals while running I did the workout for about 30 minutes–but I started after I became really fit and athletic.
The great thing about HIIT is you can choose almost ANY activity to do it! I’ve done sprint drills in the pool to shake up my routine and it felt great! You can do it on the elliptical, on a treadmill or bike. You can do it with squats or jumping jacks. Basically you’re just working as HARD as you can as FAST as you can for a short period of time. Keep in mind: you WILL be sore!
So instead of working out longer, try working out smarter with an interval workout! See what kind of changes you see in your body and stamina.
QUESTION: How often do you do speed workouts?
Lisa Eirene – has written 1846 posts on this site.
About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.