The Guide To Interval Training

The Guide To Interval Training

Interval training isn’t new to the table. It has been there for a while now and if the buzz is anything to go by, the technique is here to stay for a long time. Technically, it is a kind of physical training interspersed between low to high intensity exercises and rest. The rest phase is nothing but the recovery period. 

Here’s why you should practice it !

Numerous studies have proved that 27 minutes of interval training 3x/week is equivalent to 60 minutes of cardio 5x/week. This speaks for its effectiveness. It may seem too less, but the benefits are plenty. Thus proving to be a much better option than regular cardio training.

The high intensity exercises are good for the muscle tissue. They are capable of working at the cellular level by changing the mitochondrial activity in the muscles.

Types and Techniques

Depending on whether you are a beginner or an advanced trainer, interval training can be of many types. A trainer considers your fitness level and goals before devising a plan.

Here are a few types you may well be performing in future:

Sprint Interval

It is a fine example of interval training for runners. In this, a runner is required to sprint a distance of 100-800 meters followed by walking back to the starting line. The difficulty level can be increased as the runner moves from being a beginner to intermediate to an advanced one. This training adds speed in running and also helps a runner finish well.

Fartlek Training

Fartlek means speed play. It involves running at different speeds. Hard running to easy running to walking for recovery – it includes all. For instance, a person may be asked to warm up for 5 minutes, run for 5 minutes, sprint for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes, run hard for 1 minute, jog for 5 minutes and run again. The time period may vary for beginners and advanced runners.

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Tabata Method

An extremely tough interval training type. Tough as one is required to perform short but extremely high intensity workouts with short rest periods. For instance, sprinting for 15 seconds, followed by rest for 5 seconds and then sprinting again. A few variations can be made by including different types of cardio or weights.

Apart from the above, interval training has a few more types – Treadmill Workouts, Circuit Training, Kettleball Swings, Aerobic Cruise, Heavy Mo’s, Aerobic Plyo’s, Lactic Peak, Lactic Expander, Lactic Explosion and more.

Rest And Recovery

People often are curious about the rest period – how long should it be and so on. Generally, it all depends on a person’s fitness level. Beginners will require longer rest periods than the advanced athletes. Your fitness is directly related to how long it takes your heart beat to get back to normal.


Interval training helps body lose fat, boost heart and lung capacity, improve insulin sensitivity & lean tissue and so on. No wonder then, athletes from different walks of sports are incorporating this in their training and reaping the benefits. And not just athletes, anyone who wishes to earn fitness can do interval training.

So, Learn it. Practice it. Reap the benefits.

Author Bio:

Rebecca Dawson is a fitness coach with a masters degree from the Univ. Her passion revolves around encouraging others rediscover their lifestyle and inspire them for a healthy Her keen interest in health can be seen in her writeups that are hugely vocal about use of healthy options to keep oneself healthy on and off the ground. You can read her views on the use of tea tree oil soap, body cleaning wipes and sports specific products.

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