What Can Interval Training Do For You?

March 17, 2012

This is a guest post by Rose McLellan.

During my years of interest in fitness, I’ve not found many ideas that generate quite the same divisive opinion as interval training. For those unsure as to what this is all about, interval training is simply a case of alternating between periods (usually a minute or so) of training at a very high intensity, and moving at a more moderate pace. Adaptable to most forms of cardio work, it can be adapted into pretty much any routine.

Interval Training

If you’ve not used intervals before, you might be a bit puzzled as to how this is better than just going at the same moderate pace. That’s why I’ve put together this little article on exactly how intervals can benefit you:

Intervals burn more calories. Yup: if you’re a calorie counter, you’ll be pleased to hear that interval training has been proven to burn off more calories than standard cardio within the same time period. In that sense, it’s the perfect workout if you’re rather constrained by time!

It’s great for increasing aerobic fitness. Whilst I’m not knocking traditional cardio (can’t beat a good run in the morning!), interval training has been proven to increase aerobic fitness at a faster rate. It’s used by everyone from Premier League football players to UFC fighters for that very reason. Whilst I’m not suggesting that you follow their routine to the letter (I certainly wouldn’t), adopting a shorter interval routine will whip you into shape quickl

It can kill boredom. If you’re like me, you’ve found that one of the biggest problems with a longer cardio session isn’t the fitness or the motivation, but the boredom. Let’s face it; staring at a mirror whilst on the treadmill isn’t exactly a thrilling experience, is it? Not only is interval training quicker, it’s far more intense: trust me, I have NEVER been bored during an interval session!

It burns more fat. A fact about interval training: it means you can work out for less time, and still lose more of the blubber! High intensity interval training has been proven to burn off more fat and substantially improve insulin action than standard cardio work can in the same time period. Whilst it’s not magic (no magic is that knackering), it really is the perfect way to lose fat without becoming a gym rat.

I hope that the above reasons will give you guys a reason to try and drop some interval training into your routine. Good luck!

photo by: Michael Lokner

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