Interval Workout
The Fastest Way to Burn Calories

interval workout

An Interval Workout may make the difference between sticking with exercise and giving up.

Why? Because every minute (or several minutes) you get to slow down. Reward! And you still get a great workout.

Interval training is said to burn more calories than a same-speed workout. It builds your cardiovascular system faster. It can make you lose weight faster with less work. It can build your speed and make you stronger.

What is an "Interval" Workout?

The term is used in different ways. All of them have one thing in common - alternating faster then slower exercises.

  • exercising at your maximum followed by a slower rate exercise (repeated several times) OR
  • exercising faster then slower (repeated several times) OR
  • alternating cardio exercises with strength-building exercises (repeated several times)

Here's what Dr. Dave has to say:

There are generally two types of interval training - high and low intensity.

High intensity requires near maximum effort leading to anaerobic metabolism with periods of relative rest. This is a great way to really burn fat - but it requires you to be in good solid shape before attempting.

Low intensity intervals are good for those who are beginning to exercise or wish to advance the speed and duration of exercise at a higher heart rate. This is a great way to improve fitness with minimizing the risk of injury.

When I started to run, I did low intensity intervals to build up the distance that I could go without stopping. I jogged a certain distance (or time) and then walked. My goal was to gradually extend my runs without getting hurt. Now that I run on a regular basis I use high intensity intervals to increase my running speed. I also get the benefit of burning fat by challenging my aerobic capacity.

I see a lot of people that think that they can just start exercising by running 3 miles the first time out - that is a recipe for discouragement or getting injured. Just pick a point and have goals and use this as a way to get there.

What kind of exercises can be used in an Interval Workout?

Almost anything! It's especially popular using running, walking, biking or swimming.

Sometimes I alternate walking and jogging. Many times I alternate faster walking with slower walking - really good when you've had a hard day and just don't feel like exercising.

What kind of exercise do you like that can be alternated faster and slower?

How long should my Intervals be?

Usually 1-5 minutes, but it doesn't really matter (within reason). Do what works for you.

Here are some examples:

  • Switch every minute.
  • Switch every 3 or 5 minutes.
  • You can do 3 minutes hard, then 1 minute recovery.
  • If you can only exercise harder for 30 seconds, then need 2 minutes to recover, do that.
interval workout

Why do Intervals?

  • Can be used by beginners and prevent injuries.
  • Easier to stick with.
  • Each slower period in your workout is a reward.
  • Prevent "crash and burn."

Here is a website you might like that specializes in motivating people to do interval workous. Click here.

Interval Training is a fantastic part of your exercise plan. Try it!

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