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Training Tuesdays: Intervals

According to www.intervaltraining.net, “Interval training can supercharge your fitness, boost your metabolism, burn off that extra fat with a blow torch and enable you to start reaching those goals that you have set yourself.”  No worries, it is not an actual blow torch although I am sure that would do the trick.  I have increased my calorie burn by about 1.5X by incorporating intervals into my cardio program without increasing time spent.  That means I get to eat 1.5X more buffalo wings. For you it might mean more pints, beer or ice cream depending on your addiction, or maybe it just an extra 20 minutes of sleep.  Whatever the guilty pleasure is, intervals will allow you to indulge in it—hopefully not quite as much as Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Is this guy really in a political office?

If you are not convinced yet, this blog is better used as toilet paper.  If you are ready to workout smart, workout efficiently, workout for results, then you should subscribe!  So why does interval training work? It is conditioning.  Intervals are basically an efficient way to push the body harder and farther so you can keep increasing the body’s capabilities.  “The body begins to build new capillaries, and is better able to take in and deliver oxygen to the working muscles. Muscles develop a higher tolerance to the build-up of lactate, and the heart muscle is strengthened.”  (http://sportsmedicine.about.com)  As Arnold would say, “It’ll pump you up!”  So how do you do an interval?  There are two phases and one key.  The first phase is the sprint, the second phase is the recovery, and the key is intensity.  Depending on your current fitness level, you will want to gauge your sprint so it is a few notches higher than you normal cardio intensity and your recovery should be a couple notches lower than your normal cardio intensity.  Each sprint phase should be within the range of 1 minute to 3 minutes, while each recover phase will be about 70 percent of the time you spent in sprint.  If you are working out on a machine, there is probably an interval or hill program you can set so you can leave intensity and timing to the system.

An added benefit of intervals is combating boredom.  Time flies when you are giving it your all and then scraping to recover before the next bout.  Here is a video to get you going—no, not that kind of video!  Contrary to Arnold’s perspective, you can leave the lights on!

  1. 03/10/2010 at 1:51 am

    Very good and informative post about HIIT. I like your humor!

    • workingreekgirl
      03/10/2010 at 1:17 pm

      Thank you! And thank you for reading! I just launched the blog and it is taking a lot of work. I hope I keep entertaining you! Feel free to spread the link. 🙂

  2. 03/12/2010 at 12:18 pm

    i was a bicycle racer in the late 80’s … in our training rides we would sometimes spring between telephone poles … that was a good distance for us, and runners can use that as well

  3. workingreekgirl
    03/12/2010 at 2:08 pm

    That is great feedback! Thanks Francisco! I start running next week so I’ll keep this in mind!

  4. jaysensi
    03/21/2010 at 7:50 pm

    Very good read. I enjoyed reading this a lot. I’m loving your writing style and think that this blog was very funny. Keep up the good work, and check out mine too 🙂

  5. 08/24/2011 at 5:40 pm

    Great post about hiit, thank you for publishing it. Love your site

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