Research by Tremblay has long since showed that Interval Training is more effective for Fat Loss and Improving the Aerobic and Anaerobic System than regular long distance Cardio. Interval Training is very demanding so I would recommend 4 weeks of steady Cardio conditioning before embarking on any of the following methods.
Perform each of the following methods 3 – 8 times and allow approximately 2 minutes rest or until your heart rate drops to 60 – 75 % of your Max heart rate between each interval.
# 1. Sprints
Simple, cheap and high effective. Ensure you perform a comprehensive warm up before starting, pulled hamstrings can be very common. Sprint hard for 20 – 25 seconds before recovering and repeating. You can also do Hill Sprints and Sand Sprints to make this even more difficult.
# 2. Airdyne Bike
Full body and safe method. Minimal impact on the joints and so good for beginners. Keep the re- sistance high and work hard for 30 seconds before resting and repeating.
# 3. Rower
Another Powerful Interval method. Set the damper up nice and high and really drive with the legs. After some general coaching on form and technique the rower is another safe but effective method. Work hard for 30 seconds, rest and repeat.
# 4. Kettlebell Swings
If you are comfortable with Kettlebells then this is another excellent option. It is crucial with Swings to get the weight correct, swinging with too light a kettlebell will not generate the response you require. Keep form impeccable throughout. Swing for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat.
# 5. Swimming Sprints
This is my favourite holiday training method. Ensure that you use Front Crawl (Freestyle) or But- terfly Strokes to keep the intensity high. Depending on the length of the pool you can swim one or 2 lengths at a time. Try to finish in the shallow end for safety reasons or stay close to the side. I would not recommend performing this method out in open water.
# 6. Heavy Bag
Intervals of Kicking and Punching a heavy bag can have a great effect. Ensure you have good tech- nique first and then go for it. Keep all strikes crisp and hard. Depending on your intensity you may need to increase the time to 45 seconds per round.
# 7. Battling Ropes
A very demanding method and great to get some Pulling based movement into an interval session. You can use alternating arms or both arms together. Ensure that you perform a good warm up first to prevent any injury. Try 30 seconds, rest and then repeat.
# 8. Bodyweight Exercises
No equipment required with this method of interval training. Only full body intense exercise should be used, good examples are Burpees, Squat Thrusts, Fast Mountain Climbers, Jumping Lunges. You can alternate between exercises to hit different muscles and movement patterns. 30 second bursts before resting and repeating is a good start.
# 9. Skipping / Jump Rope
If you can Skip well then this can be an excellent Interval Training option. Skipping is a Self Cor- recting exercise meaning that you cannot cheat or use bad technique, the moment you do then the rope hitsÂ the feet and you stop. Try doubles or alternating legs to really get the heart rate up. 30 – 45 seconds is a good starting time before resting and repeating.
# 10. Barbell Circuits
Cardio training with a Barbell is very effective providing you maintain good form throughout. Once form fails so do you! I have found the Squat and Press (Thrusters) to be very effective. Ensure the weight is correct and technique is perfect. Intervals of approx. 30 seconds is a good start.
Interval Training is highly effective but you must choose the correct exercise. Following a good warm up you need to push yourself hard. You shouldnâ€™t have anything left in the tank after the interval. Using a heart rate monitor is a great way to push yourself and keep your workout honest.
Over to You
Do you have a favourite Interval Training Method? Leave me a comment below…