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The magic of interval training

Ready to turn up the heat and burn some serious fat and calories? The best way to do so is by adding Interval Training workouts to your fitness program! Interval Training is any workout that varies intensity like speed, resistance, or time from higher to lower then back to higher and alternating for the duration of the workout. These short, intense interval workouts are a more efficient way to train - less time training with the same or increased benefits and results!

Simple examples of interval training, or High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT, would be sprinting a lap on the track followed by jogging a lap or rowing or cycling rapidly for one minute followed by one minute of recovery activity. Interval training can be performed using any kind of physical activity, it doesn't have to be running rowing or cycling as long as the workouts include several short but maximum-intensity exercises mixed with moderately intense recovery periods.

If your long-term goal involves body fat loss and overall fitness choose exercises that work the entire body and the large muscle groups this will result in a greater impact on your metabolism than working smaller muscle groups. Working large muscle groups and focusing on multi-joint movements will further increase the efficiency of your training as you will complete a full-body workout in record time.

Interval Training workouts will also burn more fat than longer sessions of lower intensity, long slow distance aerobic training with the added bonus of keeping your metabolism elevated for several hours after your training ends - you will continue to burn calories and fat hours after you finish your workout! This “afterburn” effect is the result of a physiological process known as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC. Intense intervals will increase your metabolism and deplete your body’s stores of glycogen (fuel) and oxygen, then after your workout, your body will continue to burn calories as it works to replenish this depleted oxygen.

You can build your Interval Training program around any activity or sport specific workout. Running on the track, swimming sprints and then recovery laps, running stairs (or hills) as fast as you can then jogging down the stairs as recovery, all-out rope jumping for 60 seconds followed by 2-3 minutes of slow drills, rowing, boxing and heavy-bag drills, the list goes on.

Whatever activity you choose, as a beginner, be sure to start with shorter periods of intensity (30 seconds) and use longer periods of the lower intensity activity. As your fitness level and stamina improve, gradually increase the length of your higher intensity period and decrease your lower intensity recovery periods. Remember to warm up properly before your intervals and cool down after, and during your training do not sacrifice proper form - maintain control and avoid injury.

Interval Training will get your heart pounding and blood pumping, increase your oxygen uptake, increase your metabolism and fat-burning (during and after your workout), and all in less time and with much better results than the workouts you’re using now. Give Interval Training a try!

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