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Sun 7 AM
What is interval training?
It's simple: interval training is simply alternating short bursts of intense activity 30 seconds to 1 minute) with longer intervals of lighter activity (1-2 minutes). It’s secret to success is not how many calories you burn during the workout, but rather on how many you burn after the exercise -- and where these calories come from.
An "after-burn effect" or EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) occurs in the body after intense exercise drains muscles of their built-in energy source. It can take up to 24-48 hours for this energy to be replenished. During this time, your body must draw upon your fat reserves for energy. So, for the next 24-48 hours while you sit at work, watch TV or have a peaceful nap, your blood cells are rushing around grabbing fat to replenish the energy drained from your muscles.
EPOC is just the immediate benefit: over time, Interval training programs the body to funnel new energy (calories that you consume) to the muscles instead of sending them to your fat stores! The muscle’s ability to store energy increases, so your demand for fat release goes up. The more you do interval training, the more of a fat-burning machine you become!
A few more benefits of regular interval training:
1. Efficient -- Whether you want to fit a workout into your lunch break or to get in shape for a fast-approaching event, research shows that you can achieve more progress in a mere 20 minutes of interval training (done 3 x wk) than jogging on the treadmill
2. Burn More Fat -- Not only do you burn more calories during high intensity interval workouts, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body's repair cycle into overdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after an interval workout than you do after a steady-pace run.
3. Healthier Heart -- Most people don’t push into the anaerobic zone -- that place where you can't breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But in this case, extreme training produces extreme results. A recent study found that, after 8 weeks of doing high intensity interval workouts, subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.
4. No Equipment Necessary -- Running, biking, jumping rope, and rowing are all good for intervals, but you don't need any equipment. High knees, fast feet or anything plyometric, such as jumping lunges work just as well to quickly raise your heart rate. In fact, some equipment like dumbbells can make intervals less effective because you want the focus to be on pushing your
heart to its max, not your biceps.
5. Lose Weight, Not Muscle -- Anyone who has been on a diet knows that it's hard to avoid losing muscle mass along with fat. While steady-state cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, studies show that weight training and interval training both allow dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscles while ensuring that most of the weight loss comes from fat stores.
6. Increase Metabolism -- In addition to burning more fat and building more muscle, interval training stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 40-50% during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. HGH is responsible for increased caloric burn and also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!
7. Do It Anywhere – Because it's such a simple concept—go at maximum effort for a short period of time followed by a recovery period and repeat—you can adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have.
8. Challenging -- This format offers seasoned exercisers a new challenge and new exercisers a quick way to see results.