Intervals to Success

Are you looking for a way to increase your daily caloric burn? Do you hate mindless cardio? Are you often stuck for time in your workouts?

High Intensity Interval Training

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then maybe it’s time you looked towards some high intensity interval training to get your metabolism in gear to start burning fat.

Interval training is the practice of working both the aerobic and anaerobic systems of the body together in order to achieve a leaner tighter physique. Through active recovery, you ensure that your body’s heart rate stays in or above the fat-burning zone (anaerobic) for the duration of your cardio training.

In just 25 minutes you can completely change your body composition.

There are many additional benefits to interval training outside of an increased daily metabolic rate. Interval training is time efficient and should take no longer than 25 minutes. It helps bust through weight and body composition plateaus and it beats the monotony of steady-state cardio, which is usually dreaded following a heavy weight training session.

To top it off, cardio intervals have been proven beneficial for people who are looking to put on lean muscle. The act of staying both anaerobic and aerobic allows the weight trainer to stay in an anabolic state throughout the workout. In comparison, steady-state cardio has been shown to be catabolic towards muscle growth.To achieve and maintain a lean, shredded physique, incorporate cardio intervals into your plan 3 to 4 times a week.

To achieve and maintain a lean shredded physique incorporate cardio intervals into your plan.

There are many variations of interval training that can be incorporated into your weekly split. Interval training can be performed as cardio training indoors or out. It is the act of incorporating active recovery in between sets of intense cardio where your heart rate reaches 85-95% of your max heart rate during a work cycle, and drops to 65-75% during a rest cycle. The work cycle is usually between 1.5 to 2 minutes long followed by one minute of active recovery.

If you are a fan of the treadmill and are a conditioned athlete looking for a plateau buster, the following program may be just what you are looking for. Begin with a 5 minute walking/jogging warm-up. Following the warm-up, cycle through – minute intervals of jog, run, sprints at one minute each for 5 sets. Finish the workout with a 5-minute jogging/running cool down. Et voilà, in just 25 minutes you have a complete cardio session that will keep your metabolism burning fuel throughout the day.

Other ways to build cardio intervals into your program are through sprints, playing around with inclines and tensions on the elliptical, bike, and cross trainer.

HIIT allows for optimal caloric burning in the least amount of time.

Another alternative if you are especially stuck with time is the method of incorporating your intervals into your weight training program.  Often referred to as HIT (or high intensity training) this method of training allows for optimal caloric burn in the least amount of time. There are many ways in which to perform this type of training.

The first and probably the most forward way to do so it through a full-body, no-rest circuit in which you jump from muscle group to muscle group with no rest to keep your heart rate elevated.

The second way is by incorporating a form of active recovery in between sets of one muscle group, once again keeping you anaerobic throughout your workout. To do so, simply choose one form of cardio exercise that is easy to build into your weight training. I prefer to skip in between sets. Others will jump on a treadmill with the quick start button.

When working towards that lean physique or simply busting through a stubborn plateau, cardio intervals will be a surefire way to reach your goal. To help speed up progress, Krush Loaded can help with protein synthesis and muscle recovery. Krush Loaded is a 6-complex post-workout recovery creatine formula, which restores the glycogen levels in your body to physically prepare you for you next workout.

So no matter how hard you give’r in your intervals, your body will be ready to go the next day.

Happy Sprinting!

Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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