The workouts in which high-intensity training activities are interspersed with the low-intensity exercises are known as interval training workouts. The low-intensity activities can also be substituted with periods of rest. The various physical activities incorporated in these workouts include running, cycling, etc. Interval training is used to increase stamina and speed for athletes; it also helps in body fat reduction, cardiovascular conditioning and improving the overall health.
Interval Training Workouts
The exercises mentioned in this article includes both indoor and outdoor workouts.
Standard: It takes around 15-20 minutes to complete this workout. The workout is divided into 3 parts, i.e. warming up followed by high-intensity exercise and finally cooling down. The period of warming up ranges between 3-5 minutes. One has to start jogging and gradually increase the speed; intensity of the exercise should however be kept low. In the second step, intensity of the workout is increased considerably. In this step, one has to perform high and low intensity exercises alternately for 1 minute each. This pattern of exercise need to be repeated 6 – 8 times. In the last step (cool down phase), which continues for 3-5 minutes, the intensity of exercise is lowered down gradually.
Workout for Sports Conditioning: The following workout would help the athletes in conditioning and strengthening their body. The workout begins with a 3-5 minutes warm up (running). In the next step, one should perform a high-intensity workout followed by the low-intensity. Both the workouts need to be performed for 2 minutes each. In the third step, 30 second high and low intensity exercises need to be performed alternately. The cycle should be repeated 4 times. Next step in the process can really test our stamina. During this step, one has to take a 60 yard sprint followed by 90 seconds rest. This pattern of exercise need to be repeated 6-8 times. The conditioning workout should conclude with a cooling down exercise which lasts for 3-5 minutes.
Workouts for Beginners
Those who are new to interval training must keep in mind that it is a demanding physical activity. It is important that you work within your limits and improve the performance slowly but steadily. Intensity of a workout is measured with the help of a 10 point scale known as the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). The RPE level of ‘1’ is considered as the easiest. Beginners should go for a level that ranges between 6-7 RPE. The RPE of 9-10 is meant for those who are extremely fit. Warming up before performing a high-intensity interval workout is very important because, blood is drawn to muscles and thus, body is prepared for rigorous training.
One should start with 1 minute bursts of high-intensity training in the beginning. The treadmill should be set to the level of 5 mph. A zero incline should be used to perform this exercise. Those who are used to this exercise can raise the bar by setting the speed at 10 mph. After this one-minute workout, one should reduce the intensity for next 2 minutes. For these 2 minutes, the speed should be set at 2.5 mph and one should walk with ease. After this 2 minutes rest, the 1 minute workout should be performed once again. The whole set of activities mentioned above should be repeated 5-8 times.
One should see that he/she doesn’t stretch the body more than its limit. Only after enough practice, one can think about going all-out. The interval training workouts burn more calories than any other form of exercise. This is because the twitching of muscle fibers happens quickly during the phase of high-intensity training. Thus, one should take proper care while performing these exercises.