If you want to give your workouts a much-needed boost, interval training may just be what the doctor ordered.
Interval or High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) refers to increasing and decreasing the intensity of your workouts between aerobic and anaerobic training. In other words, it simply means alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity.
A simple example is brisk walking at four kilometres an hour on the treadmill. This is to be done for five minutes after the warm-up. The intensity will pick up to seven kilometres an hour for one minute before reverting to the regular four-kilometres-an-hour pace for three minutes.
This represents a ratio of 1:3. The idea is to continue at this rate for the entire duration of the workout.
Another example would involve weight training circuits. This is done by alternating periods of weight training where the weights can be lifted eight to ten times to exhaustion with 60 to 90 seconds of aerobic exercise such as jogging. For a complete interval training workout, do a complete full-body circuit.
Regardless of the kind of interval training you want to do, the bottom line is to incorporate short periods of extremely high intensity exercise with longer periods of lower intensity exercise.
The benefits of HIIT or interval training are vast and numerous:
• Increased oxygen uptake
• Better oxygen delivery to muscles
• Cross training in a single workout
• Stronger cardiopulmonary fitness
• Prevention of repetitive stress injuries
• More calories burned
• Increased lean body mass
• Improved aerobic capacity
• Prevention of boredom and fitness plateaus
• Tougher physical and mental challenge
Try interval training today to give your exercise routine that much-needed challenge it desperately needs. For best results, consult with your certified personal trainer who can assist you in drawing up the best fitness programme based on your goals.