Interval training is one of those things that you may have heard of but may not completely understand what it entails. However, it is very simple to understand. This is a type of physical exercise that you do in a series of low to high intensity workouts and these are separated by rest periods.
When you do interval training at a high intensity you are working either at or close to anaerobic exercise. The recovery times generally involve activity at a much lower intensity. So how does this work?
By working at different intensities the heart muscle is being worked on, so your body is getting a cardiovascular workout. You can then improve your aerobic capacity and you can build stamina to work out for longer and at a much higher level of intensity.
The term ‘interval training’ can be used to refer to any type of cardiovascular workout as it is the way that it is organised. Cycling and running, for example can both be practised as interval training and many athletes do benefit from working out this way.
High intensity interval training is designed to bring down the amount of training that is actually done because the effort used during those high intensity sections is increased. The benefits of HIIT include better cardiovascular health, a boost to the metabolism faster workouts and a wide range of exercises so that you don’t get bored!
Many people who have tried HIIT find that it is much more fun than working out for a much longer time and at a much steadier pace. A study has shown that even though it involves working much harder, getting more benefits from a shorter workout means that people enjoy it more.
However, there is a downside. You will have to work hard and for many people this means working harder than they have before. Those who do not hit the right level of intensity will not see the same benefits as others so if you want to try it you have to be prepared to work extremely hard.
Different trainers will have a different formula for HIIT training sessions. Plans are often tailored to the individual as everybody is different. One of the most common formulas used is a 2:1 ratio, so you may find that you have to do around 40 seconds of very fast running, for example, followed by up to 20 seconds of much more gentle jogging. These will be alternated for up to half an hour, although there are some high intensity interval training workouts that last for less than five minutes!
This type of workout is ideal for those who do not have hours to spend in the gym but who still want to see great results and working out with a qualified trainer is one of the best ways to see maximum results as they are always on hand to make sure you are getting the most from your workout.
If you would like to try out one of our high intensity interval workouts, get in touch and we can discuss your goals. Or you can look at the class list we are currently running and come along to see what it’s about.