Do interval workouts really pay?
Interval training- a workout in which you alternate between intervals of different exercise moves for a short period of time with less recovery period, is a quick and challenging total body workout.
While most exercisers feel spending less time in the gym as a result of performing interval training would not make their workout routine accountable, interval training has proven to boost strength and endurance.
When it comes to choosing to perform interval training, there is no way you can go wrong. Interval training is completely versatile. Most trainers love interval training because it is a fun workout. You could easily incorporate running and other cardio exercises, weightlifting, TRX training and other high intensity workout.
It is quite easy and fun to alternate between different exercises when you get bored from performing your normal workout ritual. For most trainers who are on a busy and tight schedule and are still enthusiastic about staying fit, losing weight or achieving other fitness goals, interval training is the best option.
You can effectively complete a workout in 15 to 20 minutes rather than 40 minutes as most workouts demand. Another reason why trainers appreciate this workout is it could be adjusted to fit their capacity- whether at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels, there is actually something that could work for you.
You just have to challenge yourself by moving as fast as you can. Best results are easily achievable when your heart rate is up and you are actually becoming breathless as you perform each exercise.
Interval training just simply has to do with the trainer pushing his body as its hardest even more than during steady-state cardio exercises.
While HIIT has the ability to burn calories quickly than any other form of exercise since you are vigorously exercising, it delivers move benefit.
A more interesting advantage? Interval training doesn’t require any special equipment. You could perform interval walking, cycling, swimming, or performing body weight exercises such as leg raises, mountain climbers, squats, high knees, lunges, etc.
Whatever your goals are, if they relate to getting the benefits associated with performing interval training- such as burning fat, improving fitness levels, endurance, increasing heart rate, then you are going to have to pick high intensity level workouts, mix in different cardio workouts and adjust to lesser recovery periods.
Do interval training really pay? While most trainers feel that any workout that is “intense” is HIIT, there is more to it than just intensity. Yes, to properly perform HIIT, you have to push your body harder for a short period of time and rest for a period that will let you recover to push harder once again.
Interval training delivers a lot of benefits and helps you achieve your fitness goals. While your interval training has to be intense, work-to-rest-ratio should be considered. To get the most out of your interval training workout, you need to understand that it is tough, challenging and that different training intervals and recovery periods deliver different benefits.
Below are different interval training exercises you could incorporate into your interval training workout routine. Plan a 22 to 45 minutes or less routine that involves any of the interval workout options. Also, begin with a 5 minutes warm-up session. Remember that warming up before your interval workout is just as important as your recovery period.
Warming up prepares your body for an intense workout and reduces the risks of injuries. After warming up, perform a high intensity interval workout for a short period, say 15 minutes.
Each workout can last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes then a minute of recovery (brisk walking) between reps. After 15 minutes of high intensity interval training, cool down.
5 interval training exercises to add to your workout routine.
- Stair Running:
all you need to perform this simple interval workout is a set of stairs. While running up a stairs, gravity tends to pull you back down and forces your muscles to work hard to overcome the resistance.
Stair running works your hamstrings, calves, glutes and quads. Stair running is quite a versatile workout. You could incorporate squat jumps, mountain climbers, push-ups and even plank.
Stair running improves balance, builds speed, boosts cardiovascular fitness, and strengthens the legs. To perform the stair running exercise, you need a longer staircase so you could continuously climb and descend for a few minutes then a recovery period of one minute followed by a repetition of continuous climbing and descending.
You could continue till you feel like you have really worked out- probably till when your heart rate is up and you are sweating. As you advance, you can increase your pace while running, jogging or even sprinting up the stairs.
If you feel any form of acute pain or begin to get extremely tired, call it a day. Always listen to your body, you are less likely to get rewarded for trying to endure pain.
- Begin by warming up. You could take a brisk walk on a flat surface for 5 to 10 minutes or perform dynamic stretching to prepare your body, loosen and kick-start your muscle.
- Jog up the stairs for 2 to 3 minutes. This should be your recovery pace.
- Increase your pace or speed to boost your heart rate. Do this for 2 to 4 minutes.
- Return to your recovery pace(jogging) for 2 to 3 minutes
- Continue in this form, working and recovery intervals for as long as you can.
To make it more intense and advanced incorporate:
- Sprinting up the stairs for 45 seconds
- Forward lunges for 3 minutes
- High knees for 2 to 3 minutes
- Grapevine up and down the stairs for 2 minutes
- Burpees: we love them, we hate them, we love to hate them or we try to do them. Whatever it is, burpees is a great exercise. As challenging and stressful as they are, they should be incorporated in your interval training workout.
When done correctly, it delivers lots of benefits such as boosting cardiovascular fitness, building your muscles, burning calories, etc. This challenging and sweat-drenching exercise works your quads, chest, abs, shoulders, butt, triceps, and inner thighs- super fantastic right
How to do burpees
- Starting in a standing position, lower your body into a squat and ensure your thighs are parallel to the floor and your arms by your side. Your spine should be neutral and feet about hip-distance apart
- Kick your feet back and extend your arms right in front of you. End in a push-up position
- With your body straight from head to toe, do one push-up
- Return your feet back and jump back into a squat
- Jump into the air with your arms over your head. This is one rep.
To perform a burpees hiit
- Perform burpees for 2 to 3 minutes
- Take a recovery period of 1 minute
- Perform 8 air squats
- Perform running and burpees for 2 minutes. Run for few seconds then perform burpees
- Take a recovery period of 2 to 5 minutes
- Do 16 sit-ups
Another burpees hiit to try out:
Start by doing as many burpees as you can for 30 seconds. Put in all your effort and push your body at its hardest. Rest for 30 seconds and yes, you have one set. We challenge you to do 5 burpees under this short period- you got it.
- Jumping Rope: looking for a way to sweat and pump your heart rate? Jump rope is a go-to and can easily be incorporated into your interval workout routine.
This exercise strengthens your muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness and reduces the risk of injury. All you need is a rope with a little heft and length ranging from 7 to 10 ft. and a gym mat or hard wood floor.
If you haven’t skipped a rope in a long time, this is a chance to and even take your interval workout to the next level.
To do this:
Perform 10 skips on both feet, then perform 10 skips on the right foot and another 10 skips on your left foot. Reduce the number of skips to 9 for both feet and then, your right and left foot. Keep reducing your number of skips till zero.
To do a jump rope hiit
- Perform a basic jump for 30 seconds, rest for 1 minute
- Mountain climbers for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds
- Basic jump for 30 seconds, rest for 1 minute
- Do the forearm plank for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds
- Perform a freestyle jump for 1 minute, rest for 30 seconds
- Perform high knee jumps for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds
- Repeat few more times
- Mountain Climbers: same as climbing a mountain, this exercise works your entire body and boost your heart rate. The mountain climber can easily be done at home and requires no special equipment.
Mountain climbers strengthen the core, boosts endurance and agility and also improves cardiovascular fitness. This exercise works your upper body such as shoulders, chest and your lower body as well such as the quads, thighs, hip, butt and legs.
If you are tired of the usual crunches and sit-ups, then mountain climber is a great option for you. While you perform this exercise, apply your body weight- so it can be effective.
How to do mountain climbers
- Start in a plank position. Your back and head should be in a straight line and your back neutral
- Engage your core
- Lift your right knee and pull it towards your right elbow
- Return your right knee back to its starting position
- Repeat this movement with your left knee and left elbow
- Continue switching your legs. Start slowly, get used to it and increase your pace gradually
To do a mountain climbers hiit
- Perform 30 seconds of mountain climbers, rest for 10 seconds
- Do 10 squat jumps, rest for 10 seconds
- Perform 30 seconds of mountain climbers
- Do 8 to 10 walking lunges, rest for 20 seconds
- Repeat few more times
Another mountain climbers hiit
- Climb for 30 seconds and perform as many climbers as you can. Aim for a total of 40 climbers, 20 on your right side, and another 20 on your left side
- Take a recovery period of 15 seconds
- Repeat again for as long as you can. Remember you want to make it intense and go as harder as you can.
- Kettlebell Swing: all you need for this full body workout is a kettlebell and just few minutes. The kettlebell swing is an explosive training move that burns calories, increases power and muscular endurance and improves cardiovascular fitness.
To perform the kettlebell swing properly, you need to pick the right kettlebell weight for your fitness level. If you are new to this exercise, we recommend you use a lighter weight.
Women should start with a 12 or 16 pounds kettlebell and men with 25 or 35 pounds. As you advance, you can increase the weight of your kettlebell.
How to do the kettlebell swing:
- Start in a sumo deadlift stance. Your feet about hip-distance apart and the kettlebell a foot in front of you. Your palms should face your body as you grasp the kettlebell into both hands. Ensure your torso is parallel to the ground
- Engage your core
- Lift the kettlebell off the ground and let it swing between your legs. Your back and neck should be straight while your knees, slightly bent as you do this.
- Drive your hips forward to push the kettlebell into the air. Control the kettlebell so it doesn’t go higher than your shoulder
- Let the kettlebell swing down and back through your legs. Bend your knees slightly and ensure your back and neck is straight
- Place the kettlebell a foot in front of you on the ground. This is one rep.
To do a kettlebell swing hiit
- Perform 20 reps of swings
- Perform 10 push-ups. After each push-up, perform another 20 reps of swings till you have reached 0 push-ups
- Continue alternating and by the end of the workout, you must have done 200 swings and 55 push-ups- so impressive.
Another kettlebell bell swing hiit- which is simpler is the Tabata swing for beginners
- Perform 20 seconds of swings
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Repeat for 8 rounds