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BodyWeight: Boost Your Performance with Interval Training

Updated on June 14, 2011

Interval Training Using Treadmill

Boost Your Performance with Interval Training

Fact #1 -- It’s the Miracle Workout

Interval training is as close to a miracle workout as you’ve ever going to get. Not only can it be adapted to individuals of all fitness levels, but it is amazingly effective at helping you lose weight, boost performance and increase strength. If that’s not enough to get your interest, it’s also far less time consuming than other exercise programs, so you spend less time working out and more time enjoying life. High Intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT involves alternating between explosive bursts of intense activity and active rest.

Fact #2 -- It’s Short and Sweet

Interval training is all about keeping it short and sweet (and sweaty). Forget about long, leisurely workouts where you have to escape the boredom by catching up on your reading. Interval training workouts typically last only 20 to 25 minutes, with a 5 or 10 minute warm up. Not only does this mean your workout is over in record time, but studies have proven that interval training is far more effective than longer workouts at maintaining your lean body mass and increasing your cardiovascular capacity.

Fact #3 -- It’s Flexible

Interval training is also extremely flexible because you can use any cardiovascular equipment, whether it’s a treadmill, stationary bike, stair stepper, elliptical trainer, jump rope or the nearest stretch of pavement or grass. Basically, interval training has nothing to do with what you’re using but rather how you’re using it. For example, if you’re using a treadmill, warm up for a few minutes by walking. Then alternate between a light sprint and jogging roughly every 2 minutes. For optimal results, you don’t want to be able to completely recover between the explosive bursts and active rest phases. In other words, you should start your next explosive burst before you start to recover. If the speed on your treadmill is limited, or you simply don’t want to run too fast then just alternate between increasing and decreasing the incline.

Fact #4 -- It Can Supercharge Your Circuit Training

If you’re already circuit training, or you’re interested in starting, incorporating HIIT is the perfect way to ramp up your results even more. Keep in mind though that if you’re circuit training with weights and incorporating HIIT, you’ll probably want to reduce the amount of weight you’re using. An example leg routine might include calf raises, weight lunges, leg extensions and squats using pyramid repetitions, where your perform 10 to 15 reps with lighter weights, then 6 to 10 using medium or moderate weight and then finishing off with 3 to 5 reps at your maximum weight. Complete the entire circuit three times, only allowing yourself a maximum of 60 seconds between reps, and 2 minutes between sets.

Fact #5 -- It’s Perfect for Outdoor Training

Interval training is the perfect way to combine your love of the outdoors with a good workout. Whether you love to swim, jog, run trails or go hiking, all of these activities and many more can be adapted to interval training. All you have to do is stick to alternating between explosive bursts and active rest. A perfect outdoor example of interval training would be to perform short sprints on a grassy field or up and down hills.

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  • workoutdvdworld profile image

    workoutdvdworld 6 years ago from Perth

    I love HIIT training. I totally agree that it is the absolute best way to get in shape. It is time efficient and gives results.