Benefits of Interval Training

Benefits of Interval Training

increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR)

spikes your metabolism, burning fat for up to 24 hours after interval training.

Improves insulin sensitivity

burns more fat in less time!

Increases growth hormone, which stimulates muscle development and fat burning.

improves cardiovascular conditioning:

strengthening your heart and lung function while slowing the aging process. Reduces blood pressure, enhances bone density, increases coordination, and balance strengthens connective tissue leading to injury prevention. decreases inflammation -one of the significant causes of heart disease

increases muscle strength and size:

as cardio machines get more sophisticated, they have begun to emulate many of the benefits of interval training!

The best part about interval training is that it works on all fitness levels -beginners can start with lighter weights at a slow pace, while advanced athletes can go all out!

Interval training is a form of exercise that can be done in many different forms. So whether engaging in rigorous sports play or just walking the dog, you could still do intervals.

The concept is simple:

increasing and decreasing your speed several times during your workout (and this doesn’t mean like when you’re walking the dog, and they are dragging you on the leash.)

you can do intervals by running (sprinting), bike, swimming (increase speed for 30 seconds -one minute- then decrease rate for 45 seconds -one minute-); this last example is how some athletes prepare for swim meets.

However you choose to do intervals, it is a great way to increase your fitness levels and have fun at the same time!

You can go from sprinting on the spot to jumping jacks as an example.

Interval training is considered interval training for any exercise that alternates between bursts of intense activity and less intense activity.

increase your fitness level at home with this simple burpee-type exercise:

starting in a push-up position, jump your feet toward your hands, then immediately back into a push-up place, then jump feet toward hands again -repeat!

try this interval running routine by coach Vinnie, who suggests you “run as hard as you can for 30 seconds then rest for one minute.”

alternate these intervals throughout your run -you might want to do 5-10 of these sets depending on how much time you have.

You will be winded, sweaty and your legs may feel like jelly, but you will likely improve your VO2 max, which is an excellent indicator of cardiovascular fitness!

Disadvantages of interval training:

Interval training may not be suitable for everyone. Some people cannot do high-intensity workouts because of health problems or other conditions that affect their ability to undergo strenuous exercise. Individuals new to an exercise program should start slowly and build gradually, rather than jumping into a more demanding activity level too soon.

After high-intensity workouts, interval training may result in discomfort, such as muscle soreness.  This should be expected and will decrease over time if an interval training program is followed consistently.

Advantages of interval training:

She improved cardiovascular system function/fitness, which can improve sports performance.

She improved speed/power/strength, leading to improvements in other sports.

Metabolism gets a boost, burning more fat and calories during the 24-48 hours after interval training.

Improved hormonal profile, leading to greater fat-burning and muscle-building ability.

Interval training allows individuals with time constraints to get a high-intensity workout in a short amount of time.  Interval training is also more efficient for boosting overall health and fitness for those who are able. In addition, it can yield more significant benefits than traditional endurance training in less time.

Some studies show that interval training may lead to more significant fat loss than continuous exercise.  That’s because, after high-intensity interval workouts, the body continues to burn more calories during the 24-48 hours afterward (sometimes known as excess post-oxygen consumption).

Interval training can be modified to suit a range of fitness levels and abilities.

Interval training sessions are considerably shorter than endurance workouts, allowing people who want to exercise but don’t have much time to fit an effective workout into their schedule.

General principles of interval training:

1) Use your watch or a clock to time your intervals.

2) Rest to recover between work intervals—the recommended rest period after each interval varies depending on the type of training you’re doing (e.g., 2 minutes versus 4 minutes).

3) For aerobic exercises, such as jogging or cycling, aim for a work-to-rest ratio of 1:1.  For example, sprint for 30 seconds, then rests for 30 seconds.

4) For anaerobic exercise (e.g., strength training), aim to spend less time on the rest interval—about 20% of the work interval is sufficient.  So you might do a set of squats followed by 5 minutes or so of rest.

5) For every minute you work, spend double the time resting.  So if you do a 10-minute interval workout, take 20 minutes of rest between intervals.

6) If you’re doing high-intensity interval training (such as Tabata workouts), aim to use an all-out effort during each work interval; it should be challenging to have a conversation during that time. For example, the work intervals in Tabata training might last only 10 seconds, while the rest interval would be twice as long (20 seconds).

7) Use an appropriate warm-up and cooldown for each interval workout.

8) For some aerobic exercises, such as running or biking, you can achieve the optimal work-to-rest ratios by using a preprogrammed interval workout on your watch.

9) Vary the intensity and duration of the interval exercises to keep them exciting and maximize benefits.

10) Plan.  If you’re going to be doing an intense exercise session later in the day, don’t do it right after a big meal.

11) It’s OK to go back and forth between interval training and continuous exercise—you can even combine them if you want.  For example, you might run for 15 minutes continuously, then alternate running and walking every 5 minutes until the workout is over.  Alternating between the two types of exercise can enhance your training and make it more time-efficient.

12) If you’re training for a specific event (a marathon, for example), do the bulk of your training as continuous exercise; however, once or twice per week includes one interval session to build speed and power.  Keep those sessions short—no more than 20 minutes.

13) For some people, interval training is efficient on a stationary bike or elliptical machine (keeping you safe from the elements).  However, many prefer doing their interval training outdoors to make it more interesting.

14) If you get bored with your workout routine, try adding interval training to break things up.

15) Generally speaking, you should do your interval training at a higher intensity than continuous exercise, so it helps improve fitness levels even more.

16) Pushing yourself during an interval session is essential for maximizing benefits.  It’s OK to work hard—you should feel challenged by the end of each interval.

17) It may take you a few tries to get the hang of interval training.  If you’re doing an aerobic exercise, be sure to warm up first (do 5-10 minutes of steady, easy movement), then do your work interval (e.g., sprint for 30 seconds). Cooldown (5-10 minutes of ongoing easy exercise) at the end of your workout.

18) If you’d like to try interval training but aren’t quite sure where to start, use our complimentary custom workout creator at  to design a personalized interval workout based on your fitness level and goals.

19) Keep in mind that if you haven’t been doing any exercise recently or are coming back from an injury or sickness, you might want to begin with continuous practice.  It’s also good to start by walking for 5-10 minutes before jumping into interval training since it helps warm up your body for more intense exercise.

20) For some people (depending on age and fitness level), interval training may not be appropriate—if you have health concerns, always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise plan.

21) If you’re doing two different types of exercise in one workout session (interval training plus another kind of aerobic activity, for example), try to keep the total time spent at each intensity level about the same.  For example, if you do 10 minutes of continuous exercise followed by 5 minutes of interval training, try to keep your total workout time somewhere around 40-50 minutes.”

Leave a Comment