• Interval Training Explained in Simple Terms

Ask any fitness enthusiast how they keep so lean, and more often than not they'll tell you: "interval training".

Compared to regular, steady state cardio, interval training leads to greater fat loss, despite burning fewer calories.

How?

Because it generates a large EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) – the calories burned after you exercise.

Interval training consists of two parts; sprint intervals and rest intervals.

Sprint intervals range from 15 to 60 seconds of high intensity activity followed by a rest interval lasting anywhere between 60 and 90 seconds.

A typical interval workout

A typical interval workout might take place at a running track and:

-Start with a 5-minute warm-up jog

-Followed by a 30-second sprint

-With a 60-second walk back to the starting line

Repeat 5 times and back it up with a 5-minute jog to cool down and you have an effective and efficient session, taking up less than 20 minutes of your time.

Interval training is also commonly performed on a bike, treadmill, cross-trainer, skipping-rope ... anything that allows you to get your heart rate up.

Sounds easy, right?

Not quite.

Interval training isn't ideal for beginners.

In order to get maximum results, you need to already have a high level of fitness. Try intervals without one and you're opening yourself to the risk of getting injured.

They also hurt (if they don't, you're doing it wrong) so you can't perform them as often as regular cardio – two sessions a week is about the maximum you should put your body through.

What are your experiences with interval training?

Boring disclaimer warning

This article was written by a Muscle Mayhem staff member. The information on this site is provided in good faith. Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. All opinions expressed on this site are our own. Always seek professional advice before engaging in any physical activity or diet.