How to Make Interval Training (More) Effective for Fat Loss
As most of you reading this know, I am a big proponent of intervals for fat loss, body transformation and overall health and fitness.
I like them over regular cardio because they are quicker than regular cardio, they help your body burn more fat and calories than regular cardio and they improve heart and lung function better than regular cardio. What isn’t to like about intervals over regular cardio except for maybe that they are more challenging.
I have even added intervals back into my fitness program to help me tighten up a little more for the summer. Hello Beach.
Even though I am always pushing intervals (drink the Kool Aid already) , I am not sure that I have discussed how to make them as effective as possible.
I understand that this is completely my fault. I have witnessed some of my Train To Sweatt followers doing intervals (yeah) and want to mention a few pointers.
4 ways to make intervals as effective as possible:
1). Actually recover. They call it a recovery period for a reason. So let your heart, lungs and body recover. The idea while doing intervals is effort not heart rate. Remember this is not regular cardio. Leave the heart rate monitor at home (unless you need it for medical reasons, of course). So stop following the rules for regular cardio already. They don’t apply here.
2). Push yourself. Just as people don’t recover enough during the recover phase of intervals they don’t work hard enough during the work periods. It is work period that causes the body to change and adapt. So make sure that you are pushing yourself as hard as you can during this period. If you have the ability to focus on anything else during the work period, push harder. Actually if you have the ability to focus on anything but recovering during the recovery period you are not working hard enough during the work period. Intervals are hard work, make sure you are getting the most from them
3). Change things up. Just as your body adapts to every other part of your training program, it will also adapt to your interval program and become more efficient at doing them. You don’t want this to happen. When your body becomes more efficient at doing something, it does not have to work as hard to do the same amount of work. And as you know if you are not working as hard you are not burn as much fat and calories as you could be. So to prevent this form happening, you need to change things up. You can do this by changing the time between your work-to-rest intervals (i.e. 15sec-to-45sec, 30sec-to-90sec, etc.) or changing what you do for your intervals. Some ideas are:
- Sprints – on a track (my personal favorite), up a hill, on a treadmill
- Cardio equipment -stepmill, rower, bike, jump rope.
- Body weight curcuits
- Kettlebell curcuits
4.) Monitor your progress. Not everything works for everyone. I like sprints not on a treadmill because they work me the hardest and they also work on my posterior change which I have trouble hitting effectively otherwise. So try a variety of methods, see what works best for you and make sure to play around with it to keep it as effective as possible.
So quit doing regular cardio, start doing intervals, follow the 4 rules above and show off your new, toned body to all your jealous, out of shape friends.
Your friend and trainer.
Paul F. Sweatt
Wellesley’s Best Body Transformation Expert
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