What comes to mind when you hear the words…INTERVAL TRAINING? Hard. Intense. Speed. Breathless. Change. Perhaps all of the above?
Intervals are rather intense, but I do love them and it just so happens that my Spin class has been assigned to do intervals this month. So by default, intervals have been on my brain the past few weeks. I thought I’d share some reasons why I actually like this form of torture and then tomorrow I’ll give you a sample interval class to try on our own.
To start with, what exactly is interval training? Interval training is alternating high intensity work with low intensity work. Think of a fast walk to a slow walk or a sprint to a jog. I like to think of it as your all out effort, followed by recovery. Here are my top 5 reasons why I love to do interval training and why I will always keep them in my workout schedule.
1. You don’t have to work out as long: As compared to a 45 – 60 minute workout, an interval training session is around 20 – 30 minutes due to its’ higher intensity. You actually should not be able to do any longer than 20 – 30 minutes of high intensity intervals (that is not including the warm up and the cool down.)
2. You can burn more calories: Increasing the intensity of your workout for any amount of time can potentially increase your calorie burn.
3. Interval Training is versatile: Interval Training does not have to be done on a certain piece of equipment. You can do intervals on the treadmill, bike, with a jumprope, walking outside, etc….
4. Improves your aerobic capacity: As you improve your cardiovascular fitness, you’ll be able to exercise longer and with more intensity. I always tell my running class that as they do intervals, they will be able to run longer at a consistent pace.
5. Adds variety: Intervals keep your workouts mixed up so you aren’t bored!
If you are new to interval training, start by doing one session per week and work up to 2 – 3 sessions per week. Make sure to check back tomorrow for a sample interval workout to get you started.