Interval training is a workout method which many trainers recommend to get a faster fat loss with less workout time. Interval training involves doing sets of various intensities during the same workout, some with a high intensity and some with a lower one.
For instance, if you do running, you can run for 60 seconds at 6 miles per hour, increase your speed to 8 MPH for another 30 and then go back down to 6MPH for another 60 seconds. This is then repeated (with variations in speed, if you so choose) throughout the workouts.
The segments which involve high intensity are generally referred to as Sprint Intervals, although you don’t have to really sprint in order to do them. The segments of lower intensity are called rest periods. This is also a misnomer as you’re not really resting. You’re still working out but you’re doing so at a speed or intensity that doesn’t really challenge your body. It’s sort of a “coasting” intensity.
This allows your body to recover from the high intensity segment, while still keeping it warm and “in the workout zone” so to speak. Then, you’re ready to go back to the higher intensity segment once more.
High Intensity Interval Training routines are just those that use Intervals to really push your body to a greater calorie expenditure and a faster fat burning. In a sense, any interval training done correctly should also be high in intensity.
Main Differences Between Interval Training Routines and Traditional Cardio
In regular cardio workouts, you just get on the treadmill or the elliptical machine for 45-60 minutes and just do the motions that the workout prescribes, usually at the same level of intensity. In a way, your body, after a while, is not even challenged anymore by these workouts as it grows accustomed to them. If you ever try to run 6 Miles or more, you’ll find that after a while the body seems to be able to continue going indefinitely. Your heart is beating normally, and you seem to be “coasting” through your workout.
With Interval training workouts, you don’t need to spend 45-60 minutes doing cardio. In fact, as I learned from Craig Ballantyne, a master at interval training, if your workout exceeds 25 minutes, you didn’t workout properly, you didn’t push yourself enough. Otherwise, you would have found the workout so challenging that you would have had to stop and either go do weight training or rest.
So, doing intervals actually saves you time. You just don’t need to spend so much time working out.
However, the main difference is in the results you can get. It’s been shown in various research how interval training workouts simply outperform traditional cardio in terms of fat loss and fitness. You can massively increase your fat loss rate by doing these kinds of workouts. They increase production of adrenaline that helps your body burn more fat and can actually produce a boost in your metabolism to help keep it going strong for hours after your workout has ended. This is a much better way to achieve a faster weight loss with cardio.
One of the best interval training programs I know is Turbulence Training. It uses short and intensive workouts to burn a tone more fat. You can read more about it here: Turbulence Training program review
Levels of Intensity
The level of intensity of your interval training exercises is usually measured on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being almost no intensity and 10 being the maximum intensity you can do. 10 would be “Dear God, there’s a mugger chasing me” sort of sprint.
Naturally, for each of us this scale is different as it depends on our level of fitness. For one person a 10 would be a 12 MPH run. For another, it will be a fast walk at an incline. You’re not in competition with anyone else. Just yourself.
What’s important is to vary your interval training workout routines to involve segments at different levels of intensities on your own personal scale. This will keep things interesting and challenging for you.
Different Interval workouts
Intervals can be done with any kind of cardio workouts such as swimming, walking, running, rowing, the elliptical and so on. When using fitness machines you may use both speed and resistance levels to achieve the interval effect. When you’re working out outdoor, you can use speed and the terrain to achieve this effect. For instance, running up hill can be very intensive, much more than running on an even plain.
You can play around with your workouts and create your own variations. As long as you keep to the principle of intervals, you should see a faster fat loss. Of that, there is no doubt in my mind.
You can also combine cardio with short bursts of strength training doing bodyweight exercises such as push ups and crunches, or using dumbbells or kettleballs to really make the workout more intensive. Craig Ballantyne has an excellent free report on how to do this which you can download at no cost. Click here to download the free report.
You can get as creative as you want with this concept. Just do it. 3 times a week should be enough. In fact, if you can comfortably do more workouts than that, then you must be not pushing yourself hard enough.
Interval Training Programs
Some of the most popular and recommended programs we review on WorldofDiets.com use intervals as one of their core fundamentals. These include the Truth About Abs program by Mike Geary, the Fat Burning Furnace by Rob Poulos, and the Warp Speed Fat Loss program.
However, if you’re really into using intervals and want to know more about them, I recommend the Turbulence Training program by Craig Ballantyne above all others. It’s an excellent program for men and women both that can really help you to push yourself to faster fat loss using interval training workouts and killer strength training exercises. Click here to learn more about the Turbulence Training program
Whether you’re trying to lose 10 pounds or 50, you need to incorporate interval training in your workouts. It’s much better than traditional cardio and you’ll see faster results by doing it.