One of the best things about working out is that there are countless ways to train. Whatever your goal and level of experience is, you can always experiment with something new and improve your fitness level.
In case you are looking for something challenging and time-efficient, why not consider interval training? Did you know that interval training has a positive impact on the body's oxygen uptake?
Get to know more about how interval training improves your circulatory system and the ways you can improve your physique and health using interval training.
What is interval training?
Interval training is a form of workout that involves a series of medium to high-intensity effort, followed by a shorter period of low-intensity activity or rest.
The exercises performed during the intensive period could be both aerobic and anaerobic, such as fast running or cycling, weight training, jumping, swimming, bodyweight exercises.
The relief period could be any exercise performed at a prolonged rate or just complete rest.
You might have heard of HIIT (High-intensity interval training) as it is the most popular form of interval workout.
The main difference between HIIT and regular interval training is that HIIT focuses on extremely intense working periods that only last between 20 to 40 seconds. During this time, you must perform at 80 to 95% of your maximum heart rate.
There are many different forms of interval training, and no matter which one you choose, you will experience significant improvement in your performance.
What are the benefits of interval training?
1. Aerobic fitness.
Studies in the clinical population show significant improvements in markers of muscle mitochondrial content after interval workouts.
There is also a substantial increase in participants’ VO2 max after only two weeks of performing interval training. The improvement is faster and to a greater extent than moderate-intensity training.
2. Burns more calories
Due to its intensity, interval training increases your metabolic rate for longer than average continuous workouts.
The result of interval training is burning more calories for up to 24 hours after the workout.
3. Vascular health
Research studies display better endothelial function after an interval workout when compared to continuous training.
The proper function of the endothelial cells ensures efficient blood flow distribution, protects cardiovascular function and health, and improves the elasticity of arterial blood vessels.
4. It saves you time
If you often miss a workout because you do not have enough free time, you should do interval training. They allow you to complete an effective workout in a short amount of time.
5. Keeps your cortisol levels healthy
Exercise is a form of stress and stimulates the release of cortisol. While short-term increases in cortisol help the body repair, adapt, and grow stronger, high cortisol levels for too long can cause exhaustion, joint pain, and mood disturbance. Workouts under 40 minutes are usually associated with a healthy, short-term increase in cortisol, which is beneficial.
6. You don’t need a gym or equipment
Interval training allows you to perform efficient workouts without special equipment. You can do intervals running, walking, swimming, or with bodyweight exercises, such as mountain climbers, pushups, squats, lunges, etc.
How to do interval training?
You should balance the intervals and their count according to your experience.
For a beginner, it is optimal to start with a working interval of 2-2,5 minutes, performing an exercise with moderate intensity, followed by a relief interval of 1-minute rest.
As you advance, you can lower the length of the intervals in an exchange of an increase of the intensity. After you progress enough, you can even try HIIT and see what it is like to push yourself to the limit on each interval.
The total duration of an interval workout should be around 25 to 35 minutes, but this still depends on its intensity and your goals. However, it would be best if you start with 15-20 minutes workouts and slowly build upon that.
What are the best exercises for interval training?
Whether you decide to do interval weight training or interval bodyweight training, you must pick the right movements. Compound exercises work many muscle groups at the same time, help you build lean muscle, increase your metabolic rate, and burn tons of calories.
Here are our 7 favorite exercises for interval training.
This natural movement targets your legs, strengthens your core and back. You can choose from goblet squat, barbell squat, jumping squat, sumo squat, and many more.
You can perform this exercise with a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells. It works the entire leg and back region, while also fixing your posture and stabilizing your core.
They work the pectoral muscles, triceps, deltoids, and the abdominal muscles. Pushups are great for developing upper body strength, and you can do them anywhere, as they require no equipment.
Working on your entire body, burpees help you build explosiveness and endurance. If you add a pushup when you are on the ground, it turns into a full-body exercise.
· Mountain climbers
This exercise increases your heart rate fast and fires nearly every muscle group in your body. It helps you build cardio endurance, strength, and agility.
· Power clean
This dynamic exercise enables you to develop power, speed, and coordination. The power clean is a complicated movement that takes time to learn but is definitely worth the effort.
This full-body movement improves your muscular endurance and balance. Thrusters help you gain upper and lower body strength, while also making you more explosive.
Who can benefit from interval training?
When done correctly, interval training can be beneficial for nearly anyone who wants to boost their performance.
It is an excellent tool for athletes and gym enthusiasts that aim to lose weight, build endurance, elevate their metabolic rate, be in great shape and health, or to try something challenging.
Interval training for your lungs
With higher intensity workouts, your breathing becomes challenges and you might find it harder to keep up the pace. Whether you are in the best shape of your life and want to push yourself further, or want to get in good shape, breathing is part of building greater performance.
All breathing trainer program using Airofit can be set to match you interval training and your personal needs. Airofit uses data to create the right training program for your needs. Check out more breathing training here.
What are the risks of interval training?
This kind of workout requires a lot of focus and some degree of experience, so make sure you only choose movements with which you are familiar.
Performing with the right technique is the most crucial aspect of every training.
A research study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness reveals that people who engage in high-intensity interval training are at higher risks for injury, especially in the knees and shoulders.
The authors advise the sports enthusiasts to keep in mind that one size does not fit all, and everyone should train according to their fitness level.
Have you done any interval training before? If yes, how did it go? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have any questions, we would be more than happy to help you!