Interval Training and Weight Loss

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Whether you’re trying to make the most of your workout, or get the biggest gain for your effort, Interval Training can work for you. Interval Training (IT) also known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is commonly used by professional athletes and regular exercisers trying to extended the benefits of their workout routine. By alternating bursts of high intensity movement with longer periods of regular training the body revamps to offset the confusion by increasing its ability to tackle both. By not allowing the muscles to anticipate movement, the body is able to convert stored carbohydrates at a faster rate and speed up the calorie burning process, which increases weight loss from exercise.


How to Include Interval Training in your Workout

An example of IT that can be easily modified to your personal fitness level starts with a five minute warm up jog at a moderate rate, followed by a couple of minutes of stretching. Then start with a jog at a faster rate and intensity level for 60 seconds and work up to a sprint for 30 seconds. Repeat this cycle 6-8 times depending on your personal fitness level. Alternately, IT also refers to mixing up your regime from day to day with rest days added in to give the body time to relax and prevent soreness. Adding hand weights to a vigorous walk/run/sprint keeps the muscles from settling into a pattern that burns less energy.


Interval Training for Weight Loss

For those that partake of IT regularly, studies have shown real benefits. During continuous moderate cycling after interval training, the amount of fat burned increased by, as much as 36% compared to when the participants weren't doing Interval Training. As an added bonus, their cardiovascular output (the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen to working muscles) showed a 13% improvement.


Interval Training Tips

Interval training can be an effective means of achieving greater weight loss from exercise. An accepted rule of thumb is that an IT phase should be long and vigorous enough to get your heart rate up to 90% of your maximum, and the recovery period shouldn’t last so long that your pulse rate returns to it’s relaxed state. Ultimately, listen to your body. IT training can be stressful and it is advised that you consult with a trainer to find the combination that best suits your needs, and fitness level.