Interval training (otherwise known as ‘high intensity interval training’ or HIIT) is a tough but thoroughly rewarding style of exercise. Some of you may have heard of it and feel a little intimidated by it but we’re on board to investigate the benefits and take a look at the exercises themselves. We’re also here to highlight how you can tailor interval training to fit your workout needs.
What is interval training?
Although many would think placing their efforts into carrying out exercise at a continuous high volume and medium to high intensity would bring about the best changes, it is actually thought to be less impactful than short bursts of intense exercise. This approach is known as interval training, it was created in the wake of research that proved short bursts of intense exercise help burn more calories whilst running the cardiovascular system through excellent and rewarding training.
Cardio training is usually associated with lengthy stretches on the treadmill or covering miles on the rowing machine. Interval training is the opposite of this, it’s quicker and resists the usual low-intensity approach to cardio; it’s highly demanding over a shorter time with a bunch of rest periods slotted in between so you don’t overcook it.
For instance, running in the style of interval training would mean you will sprint as hard as you can for a minute before breaking it up with another minute at a walking/resting pace. This process will then be repeated for as many reps as you desire to carry out. Many sports such as football and squash have a similar style of short duration, high-intensity demand so if you take part or train in these sports, then this is a fantastic complementary exercise.
What are the benefits?
It’s incredibly time effective! Due to its speedy nature, it’s a quick yet highly effective workout to include in your routine. It will also work and confuse your short-term metabolism with its stop-start intervals – this is a good thing as your body will continue to burn calories after your workout before readjusting itself. It also readies your cardiovascular system for higher levels of intensity and stress which in return offers a higher stamina for your future workouts.
Should I try it?
Interval training is not for the faint hearted, it’s intense and highly demanding – its purpose is to drive your body through exhausting and trying activity, this highlights how important it is for those willing to trial it to be properly fuelled and nourished by the right foods and nutrients. Check out our post on Vegan Foods For Energy to discover more. You need to ensure your body is prepared and ready for the strain and stress interval training will have on your muscles. The key is to start off small, as you would with any form of exercise.
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