WHAT IS IT?
Interval training is often talked about, but there’s also a lot of confusion about it. Very simply, intervals are timed sets. In fact, just about everyone is familiar with the concept even if they don’t realize it. If you’ve ever seen a boxing match, then you know what a timed round is. A round of boxing IS actually a form of interval training. There is a 3 minute round (work) followed by a 1 minute rest. Then Round 2 starts.
HOW TO USE IT!
The simplest way to incorporate interval training in your workouts is to just pick a time (maybe 30 seconds). Then perform any given exercise for that time. You don’t count repetitions (reps) here. You just keep going until the time’s up. You’ll then rest for a specific time (maybe another 30 seconds) and then you’ll go again. Using the interval training method, you can then do it with straight sets (set after set of squats for example), supersets (2 back to back exercises), and circuits (all the exercises done back to back without stopping). You can also change the work/rest ratio. Usually it’s a 2 to 1 work to rest ratio. 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, 40 seconds of work with 20 seconds of rest, etc. Interval training has actually been scientifically proven to be more effective for fat loss than long, steady-state cardiovascular exercise such as running or cycling. That’s not to say you should no longer so those exercises. They’re a lot of fun and they are still very effective at calorie burning. And I’m also not saying that interval training is the end-all and be-all of training, but it is a valuable addition to any training program and should be used regularly.
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