Thursday, 21 July 2011

Interval Training

Pushed for time to fit a workout into this festive period or are you just looking for something to mix up your work out to loose the monotony? Try out interval training to help you to reach your goals. Interval training alternates exercise stints with recovery. 

The chosen exercise and intensity depends on the individual’s fitness levels and goals, which will also determine the duration of exercise and recovery periods, intensity and number of interval cycles. Interval training is beneficial to all from beginners to elite athletes. Generally progressive overload must be applied in order for changes or improvements to take place. For beginners it is recommended to carry out interval training for a minimum of 20 minutes  at 55-85% maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) at a ratio of 3:2 (3mins work and 2 mins rest) (O’Driscoll)

There are many benefits of interval training, including:
.                 ‘Increased aerobic endurance and VO2 max capacity
.                 Increased ability to work at higher percentages of VO2 max
.                 Increased steady state threshold
.                 Increased lactate clearance and tolerance
.                 Increased total calorie utilization per exercise session
.                 Increased total fat utilization
.                 Increased exercise compliance
.                 Maximization of time (more total work accomplished in shorter time)’ (Stevens 1997)

If you want to give interval training a go then try brisk walking for a 2 minutes, followed by 1 minute of easy walking and repeat 5 times. After carrying out this programme a few times if you feel ready, increase the intensity of the work to a job and eventually decrease the work and rest time. 

O’Driscoll, E. American Fitness 2001, Vol. 19 Issue 5, p33
Stevens, K. American Fitness, 1997, vol 15. Issue 4. P22

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