Interval training routines have been used in athletic training for a number of years. There are many benefits of this routine, due to which it has remained popular always.
Interval training routines were always aimed at athletes; however, now they have been patronized by most of the exercise enthusiasts all around the world. When it started off, these routines were known as ‘fartlek‘, where there were alternating short, fast bursts of intensive exercise with slow and easy activity. However, this form was more casual, unstructured, which was not really meant for common exercise enthusiasts, and also, there were more chances of injuries due to the unstructured pattern.
These days, the workouts are more structured and help in athletic performance enhancement. Trainers and physiologists work in tandem to design routines, which suit the need of an individual. E.g., for the routines in general and routines for fat loss in particular, cardiovascular exercises hold the key.
How Interval Training Routines Work
They not only work the aerobic system, but also the anaerobic system. When high-intensity activity is performed, energy stored in the muscles is used for short bursts of activity. There is a buildup of lactic acid and scarcity of oxygen, as anaerobic metabolism functions without oxygen. After the high-intensity activity is over, in the recovery phase, the heart and lungs work together and more oxygen is pumped into the system by the aerobic system. In the recovery phase, the body converts carbohydrates stored in the body into energy.
The Workout Routines
The basic principle behind these routines remains the same. In an interval training, there are alternating bouts of intense physical activity and a spell of lighter exercise or rest.
# At Home
If you are looking for routines for beginners, then you may want to use this routine. This routine has the same period of low and high-intensity activity.
- The first 5 minutes of any of the exercises are meant for warm-ups. The warm-up can consist of a light jog of low intensity; however, the intensity increases towards the end of the warm-up.
- For the first minute of the training, you will choose an activity of moderate intensity.
- The next minute, you will have to do an activity of low intensity.
- After the first 2 minutes, you will alternate between one minute of high and one minute of low intensity for about 6 to 8 times of both low- and high-intensity activity.
- Just like a warm-up, a cool down is also important. The cooling down period will be anywhere between 3 to 5 minutes; however, towards the end of it, make sure the intensity decreases.
# For Weight Loss
When one interval trains for weight loss, the routines for women and men have a pyramidal structure, where the person starts with short bursts of speed, the middle of the routine spell will have a peak, while the end will taper down.
- Like in the case with the previous routine, the warm-up will be of 5 minutes.
- After that, you will have 30 seconds of high-intense activity, followed by a minute of low-intensity exercise.
- Then the time of high intensity will increase to 45 seconds, whereas the low-intensity activity time will remain at one minute.
- This will be followed by 60 seconds of high intensity and 1 minute of low intensity.
- Now you are in the middle of the routine, where you will have 90 seconds of high intensity and 1 minute of low intensity.
- The high-intensity spell will taper down to 60 seconds, but the low-intensity spell will remain at 1 minute.
- The next stint will be of 45 seconds of high intensity and 1 minute of low intensity.
- The last of the intervals will consist of 30 seconds of high intensity.
- Now is the time for a cool down, which will last for 3 to 5 minutes.
Depending on your stamina, you can make changes to these routines. However, remember that the most important part of these routines are warming up and cooling down. Most people do not pay sufficient attention to them, which causes injuries.