Interval training consists of a series of physical training exercise spurts separated by short rest periods. The exercises range from low to high intensity moves and motions. The high energy intervals can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes depending on fitness level. The low energy, or relief periods between high intensity periods can consist of absolute rest or low intensity exercises and can range from 10 seconds to about one minute. Most interval training routines consist of cardiovascular activities such as jogging, running, rowing or cycling, but can also include other high intensity activities.
Benefits Beyond How Interval Training Burns Fat
Interval training has become popular due to its effectiveness for weight loss as well as its ability to be adjusted to meet fitness needs. Many coaches and athletic programs utilize interval training as a form of conditioning on a daily basis. It not only burns fat, but each of the chosen exercises focuses on one muscle or group of muscles that need exercising. Interval training also serves to build stamina by increasing the length of intervals and decreasing rest periods.
Some of the additional benefits of interval training include burning more calories than just walking or swimming. The high intensity periods are meant to increase your heart rate and force your body to work harder and use more energy. Interval training is also cost effective. It doesn’t require much more than a clock or a stopwatch to monitor your time. It can also improve your aerobic capabilities by improving your overall cardiovascular fitness. This will allow you to gradually begin to work out for longer periods of time without burning out before workout is finished.
A Wide Variety of Exercises
One of the biggest reasons people love interval training is due to its variety. Sometimes walking or jogging on a treadmill or an elliptical can get boring, causing you to lose interest in working out at all. Interval training constantly keeps you active and rotates activities too quickly to become bored with any of them. Interval training doesn’t all have to be done at one time. It can even be done during the commercials of your favorite lifetime movie.
For instance, during a commercial period, get off of the couch and do a different cardiovascular activity for one full commercial, then take about 30 seconds into the next to catch your breath, and start a different activity. If you do this over the course of one two-hour movie, you will get roughly 40 minutes of exercise!
Sample Interval Training Routine that Burns Fat
Below is a simple interval training routine for beginners that you can do in your own home in less than 20 minutes:
- Jog in place for three minutes
- Slowly squat to the floor and come back up for 30 seconds (keep your back straight!)
- Briskly walk on and off a step for three minutes
- Slowly walk a lap around your house to catch your breath
- Do jumping jacks for three minutes
- Slowly squat to the floor and come back up for 30 seconds
- Walk up a full set of stairs and back down for 3 minutes
- Slowly walk a la around your house for 30 seconds
- Jog in place for three minutes, this time lift your knees up high
- Walk around your house for 30 seconds
These activities are interchangeable and can be adjusted as your level of fitness increases. Interchanging low and high intensity activities will burn more calories than your hour long walk or jog. With an interval plan to burn fat in less than 30 minutes in your home will eliminate the excuse that you don’t have the time or money to work out. All you need is motivation and something to keep track of time!