You’ve probably all heard about interval training, and what it can do for you. Interval training is great if you’ve bottomed out in your current exercise routine and just can’t seem to make headway.
It is also great for amping up the fat burn and strengthening the heart. BUT there is even more research out now that proclaims it to be one of the best things you can do for your body–period. Interval training basically takes your heart rate, shoots it through the roof, and then brings it back down…only to do it all over again. This strengthens your cardiovascular system (so you can do more and more!) and burns a lot of fat.
Interval training is basically a type of exercising that involves bursts of high intensity work, which is then alternated with periods of rest or low activity, hence the intervals. Research shows that this type of exercising can build lactic acid tolerance which will help in all of your workouts, and it can increase the release of human growth hormone, which helps to make you feel (and look!) younger 1.
The NEW research though, says that doing more high intensity intervals (HIIT training) is even better. Why? This newer, higher intensity training can benefit you well into your day. If you do high intensity intervals, you’ll burn fat much longer than if you had just performed a steady state cardio session, or even just an interval session. You can also reap the benefits of a long workout (think: 90 minutes) in just a fraction of the time2.
HIIT training is six to eight cycles of all-out intense cardio (sprints, plyometrics, etc) for 30-60 seconds, followed by a 30 second rest. You’ll be gasping for breath, get a reprieve and do it all over again-for six to eight cycles. And then you’re done. The newest research says this is equal to about 90 minutes of steady state cardio2.
But don’t get ahead of yourself. If you’ve never attempted this, start by just replacing one of your (yawn!) long, boring cardio sessions with a HIIT workout, and then add up to three a week. Consult your doctor before starting, and then just up the intensity as you go along. See if that doesn’t jump start your weight loss and get you off that plateau!
1) Campbell, L, Wallman, K. Green, D. (2010). “The effects of intermittent exercise on physiological outcomes in an obese population: Continuous versus interval walking.” Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. 9, 24 – 30
2) “Advanced Interval Training Serious Results.” (2010). WelcoHealthJournal. Retrieved from http://www.welcohealthsolutions.com/mywellnesscenter/2010/08/04/advanced-interval-training-serious-results/