In fitness, it is important to mix things up as much as possible. This prevents monotony and allows your muscles to receive the maximum amount of results during training sessions. Interval training is an integral part of every fitness program. It allows you to mix things up while maintaining muscle strength and endurance. In this article, we are going to talk a little about what interval training in as well as how you can incorporate them into your regimens.
What is Interval Training?
Interval training is basically an exercise which involves performing at high intensity for a certain amount of time followed by performing at low intensity for a certain amount of time. Each amount is predetermined and you generally repeat these sets. The end result is physical exertion and a lot of weight lost. Let’s talk about some of the more common interval training exercises.
Running Interval Training
Sprint intervals can be measured two ways: by distance or time. These are also considered the “High intensity” part of the training. Each burst of training can last as long 20 minutes or can be as short as 15 seconds. Typically, the longer you train for, the less intensity you have to exert. For example, a sprint interval may involve running at a quick pace for 20 seconds, taking a 10 second break, and running for another 20 seconds.
The period when you are recovering is considered the “Rest interval”. During rest intervals, you generally don’t stop training altogether. Instead, you stay loose and warm by performing at a lower intensity until you have recovered enough to perform at a higher intensity again. The length of the rest period is determined by your fitness levels as well as what your goals are. Rest intervals are extremely important because they ensure that you are performing the high intensity sessions optimally. Without sufficient rest, you won’t be able to give it everything you have when it really counts.
How Much Intensity Should You Use?
The amount of intensity you are going to use during your interval training sessions basically means how hard you are going to be pushing yourself. For the sake of simplicity, let’s measure intensity on a scale from 1 to 10. One is no effort at all and ten is equal to the most effort you can possibly give. After you develop this scale, you’ll be able to effectively develop an interval training that works well for you. For example, for athletes who are trying to increase their speed, then they should be training at an intensity level of 9 or 10 for about 15 seconds.
This allows them to increase the speed of their sprint. On the flipside, for those individuals who are trying to increase their endurance, you should perform at an intensity level of about 4 or 5 for at least 20 minutes. This allows you to develop a lot more stamina. Understand that these same concepts can also be adopted while you are lifting weights. Use higher intensity (lower time) for strength and lower intensity (higher time) for muscle definition.