It is crunch time! The pools are open and so are the beaches. If bathing suit season has you feeling less than in love with your body, maybe it’s time you shook things up a bit and tried interval training.

Why it Works

Interval training is one of the best, fastest ways to see results, gain lean muscle and burn fat.  An interval training work out consists of short bursts of cardio and plyometric strength training with the participant pushing themselves to their limit during a short time.  This creates a calorie blast that lasts for hours.  Interval training is great when you are short on time too.  One 15-minute interval workout done three times a week is as effective as a half-hour on a treadmill.  How is that for time maximization?

Workouts that Work

  1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a fitness regime that combines high-intensity and low-intensity exercises.  It’s the most basic way to begin interval training – no classes or videos needed.  The short sessions (think 20 minutes) are designed to get the most benefits for your time. Each HIIT session increases your oxygen consumption which then increases your metabolism. HIIT workouts make a great addition to a cardio or weight-lifting training schedule.  Using free weights you do push-ups, run fast in place and do other calisthenics like mountain-climbers, burpees and jumping jacks to get your heart rate up and fat burning. Combinations for sessions are endless and you really work up a sweat. You can find many HIIT routines on YouTube.
  2. Metabolic Effect (ME) has the motto, “Work as hard as you can for as long as you can.” Using surges in cardio and weights you push the limits of your fitness ability each time you take an ME class. It’s all about going hard in small segments, physically resting when you have exhausted yourself, then starting right back up again.  Moves include warm-up jumping jacks, dumbbell rows, lots of push-ups, speed skaters and the ability to hold the plank position. The pace is fast and fun. One 30-minute rest-based workout can feel like five minutes. ME classes are popping up in gyms all over the country.

Added Bennies

Yes, incorporating interval training into your fitness life does help you stay strong and be fit, but did you know that it also makes your heart stronger and increased insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance meaning your body processes foods more effectively?  Your metabolism will surge 24-48 hours post-workout while burning fat at a more efficient rate.  It also helps to maintain a healthy weight.  If you are a runner it can assist in increasing your speed and stamina too.  Doing interval training 2-3 times a week can help you maintain or reach higher fitness goals.