Interval training – ever heard of it? There’s a good chance you’ve heard one or two people throw those words around in the gym, but maybe you don’t quite know what it means. And that’s okay! We’re going to break down what interval training is, why it’s beneficial and how to incorporate it into your workout routine.
At the most simple definition, interval training is alternating shorter bursts of intense activity with longer intervals of a lighter activity. One of the easiest ways to think about it might be in terms of running. For example, 30 seconds of sprinting coupled with 1 minute of jogging.
So what are the benefits? There are many! For starters, it’s incredibly efficient. Most interval workouts are shorter (and more intense) than a steady pace workout, so you get an amazing workout in a shorter amount of time. In fact, you might even burn more calories/fat (benefit #2!). The real magic here occurs after your workout when your body continues to burn calories. Lastly, you can interval train just about anywhere and without much (or any) equipment.
Try adding intervals to your current cardio routine. This can be done on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike at the gym or when running/walking outdoors. Another way to add intervals to your routine is by using bodyweight exercises to get your heart pumping. If you’re worried about keeping track of time, try downloading a timer app for your phone. Many interval-training specific ones exist.