When you honestly do not have time for a full blown workout, try interval training. Speedwork or short sprints can replace long slow distance workouts. Spend five minutes warming up at an easy pace. Then gradually increase your intensity until you are moving at about seventy percent of your maximum speed. You may feel a slight burn in your legs. And your lungs may open up for the first time in years. Hold this pace for about a minute. Then slow down to your normal tempo for two minutes. Increase your speed again to seventy percent for another leg exploding, lung expanding, minute. Cool down to a relaxed pace for another five.
Use intervals for walking, running, cycling, or in-line skating. The faster, more intense, velocity may be uncomfortable at first. Your heart rate and breathing will skyrocket. Soon you will crave it. Add one/one minute interval each week until you are sprinting a maximum of ten/one minute cycles. If you do not relish watching the clock, simply speed up between telephone poles. Then slow to your normal rate until you reach the next pole. Interval training burns fat, builds endurance, speed, and recovery. You will complete your workout sooner, and it is a pleasant diversion from your long, slow, distance stroll.
Interval training is varying your intensity throughout your exercise session. Alternate high-intensity work bouts and low-intensity rest periods. Intervals are used to improve your performance using effort intervals followed by recovery intervals. You can make interval training specific to your sport. Or you can use intervals to improve your fitness. To begin, make intervals equal to your normal steady state program. Follow this with a rest/recovery segment performed at a lower intensity.
Research has shown that interval training improves both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Continuous, long, slow, distance training improves aerobic capacity only. Interval training has also been shown to burn more total fat and calories than continuous training. Intervals allow you to perform more work increasing your Excess Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). EPOC, the "afterburn", is the absolute number of calories you consume, long after you have completed your workout.
Intervals have the potential to train your heart muscle longer and more effectively than a single bout of continuous training. During interval training, your heart must overcome a greater resistance. This leads to improved venous return which results in greater ventricular filling and contractility. You experience a more complete emptying which increases your stroke volume and cardiac output.
Interval training also improves your muscle's ability to tolerate lactic acid. You become accustomed to short periods of training, just below your anaerobic threshold. This helps you learn to delay the onset of fatigue.
An interval training program (aerobic system) is low intensity but continues for longer than three minutes. Both the work and rest intervals occur at an intensity that is within your aerobic system. The interval period is performed at a slightly higher intensity than your steady state.
The rest period is slightly lower than your steady state. The time in each interval usually ranges anywhere from 4 to 15 minutes.Climb on your exercise bicycle. Warm up for 3 minutes. Pedal at 70 percent of your maximum for 5 minutes. Take a one-minute easy-pedaling break. Perform another 5 minute interval.
An advanced interval training program (ATP-PC) is very high intensity, and short in duration (1-15 seconds). Sprint or lift weights at 95 percent intensity for 15 seconds. Then take a 45 second break. Your recovery interval is absolute-rest to allow for replacement of ATP and creatine phosphate. Because your work/rest cycle is relatively short, you can repeat the cycle 10 - 20 times within a single workout.
Another advanced interval training program (lactic acid system) kicks in at a high intensity and short duration (45-90 seconds). The work interval is greater than your anaerobic threshold. After your warm up, run the length of a track at 65 percent of your maximum speed. Jog slowly around the curve. Your rest interval occurs in the aerobic system. Use this program if you are highly fit and athletic. Your rest interval is active recovery. This allows for removal of lactic acid.
Speedplay is a form of interval training that is based on how you feel. It is less systematized than normal intervals. You govern how hard you want to work. You control your intensity based on your tolerance. Speedplay may be more enjoyable than timed intervals. It teaches novices how to progress beyond their anaerobic threshold. They learn to subjectively rate their perceived exertion.
Interval SportCord training may be performed on a circuit. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions at 60 percent of your maximum. Take about 30 seconds to finish each exercise. Your rest interval is the period between exercises. Recovery time is minimal, as it includes only the seconds required to strap into the next machine. Your goal is to complete 10 repetitions on all 12 machines with limited rest between sets.
A variation of circuit weight training is aerobic circuit training. Aerobic circuit training is simply adding a 30 second to 3 minute aerobics station between each weight set. The benefits of interval training include:
1. Increasing your VO2 maximum. You will also be able to work out at a higher percentage of your VO2 max. because you will increase your anaerobic threshold.
2. You can burn more total fat and calories in a shorter workout session thereby maximizing the use of your time.
3. You will be effectively stimulating both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers.
4. You can change your interval routine to avoid overuse injuries. 5. Long, slow, continuous training sometimes becomes boring. Intervals spice up your program.