When I first meet with a new client, one of the mistakes they are typically making is doing too much cardio training. It’s not uncommon, because let’s face it, it’s much easier to hop on the treadmill than it is to create a strength training routine and be 100% confident that you are doing the right exercises or the proper technique.
Slow, steady training like logging miles on the treadmill or spending 60 minutes on an elliptical trainer at the gym will burn a large amount of calories, but for all the time that you spend doing that exercise, you are actually not getting a great return on investment.
Interval training has been proven to be the most efficient and effective way to lose weight and excess body fat. With interval training, you are pushing hard for a predetermined block of time and then taking an active rest period following the work. The immediate benefit of this type of training is that you will burn a higher amount of calories while working for a shorter amount of time.
WHY INTERVAL TRAINING IS AWESOME
Most interval training workouts should last approximately 20 minutes and a maximum of 30 minutes, depending on the workout you are completing on that day. Here’s why interval training is awesome:
1. More work is done in less time.
2. Instead of tiring the body over a long period of time, the active rest intervals enable a higher work rate in the upcoming sets
3. The higher level of intensity promotes higher levels of caloric burn. 4. Interval training increases metabolism both during the workout and after the training session has been completed. 5. The post-training increased metabolism is sustained for up to 36 hours. 6. Interval training can be more dynamic, athletic and fun 7. More variety in your training decreases boredom. 8. Interval and rest times can be adjusted based on your fitness levels.
5 INTERVAL EXERCISES
Below are five great exercises to incorporate into your program as a replacement for steady state cardiovascular training.
1. Mountain Climbers: Try 30-60 second work intervals followed by 30-60 seconds of rest. Combine with other exercises from this list.
2. Jumping Rope: Try 30-60 second work intervals followed by 30-60 seconds of rest. Combine with other exercises from this list.
3. Sprints: Try 50-200 meter sprints followed by 30 – 120 seconds of rest. Combine with other exercises from this list.
4. Stair Sprints or Stair Climbing: Try 30-60 second sprint intervals followed by 30-60 seconds of rest. Combine with other exercises from this list.
5. Boxing: Try 30-60 second punching intervals followed by 30-60 seconds of rest. Combine with other exercises from this list.
I typically recommend 3 days of strength training and 2 days of higher intensity interval training. Here is how you could structure your two days of interval work:
Day #1- SPRINTS
50 meter sprint x 10 reps (rest 1 minute between reps) 200 meter sprint x 2 (rest 2 minutes between reps)
Day #2- JUMPING ROPE / BOXING
1 minute jump rope
Rest 30 seconds 1 minute boxing on a heavy bag or partner pads
Rest 1 minute
Repeat for 8-10 rounds
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