It’s another Happy Healthy Balanced Peaceful Life. When you work out hard you are allowed to play hard without the guilt. After my Bali exploration, I for one couldn’t wait to get back into the gym and have Brandon kick my butt.
Today we are talking about Cardio Intervals with my personal trainer, Brandon Cole. This is something I am starting to incorporate into my routine, right along with you all. My personal favorite part of cardio is…a glass of wine or two feels a lot less guilty afterwards.
Interval training for more efficient cardio:
What is it?
Interval training just means you’re alternating between bouts of varied intensity during a given workout. This is usually performed by doing a high intensity burst over a short time, followed by a low to moderate intensity bout, and then repeated for time or number of cycles. It’s most commonly used during cardio workouts; however, you can do this with weights or other kinds of resistance equipment.
One example of interval training is sprinting, then walking, then sprinting again, and so on for 10 cycles. Or have you ever done a spin class? Then you’ve done interval training. It’s a pretty simple way of taking whatever you’re doing for cardio right now and making it work even better for you. Imagine cutting your current cardio time in half and still getting the same, if not greater benefits. Sounds pretty awesome, right? When done the right way, interval training can accomplish that.
How is it better?
A lot of people look at cardio as more equals better, as in more time spent doing it means you’re getting better results. So 60 minutes is better than 30 minutes. Makes sense, right? That could be the case if you’re going the exact same pace or intensity during the 30 minutes as you are during the 60 minutes. That’s called steady state cardio, and that’s exactly how most people spend their cardio time. However, if you’re taking that 30 minutes and mixing up the intensity, then you’re likely working harder overall than in those 60 minutes done at a constant pace. When you’re working harder and really pushing a little past your comfort zone, then that’s when a lot of awesome things start happening in your body.
A few benefits of interval training are: increased metabolism for hours post exercise, more calories burned in a shorter amount of time, does a better a job at preserving lean mass over steady state cardio (although diet and especially protein intake play a big role in this) and improves your fitness and stamina faster. Oh yeah, and more importantly, it’s way more fun and takes a lot less time than traditional steady state cardio.
So should you never do steady state cardio?
First off, any exercise can be good exercise. So if you’re into long walks, 6 miles runs or hopping on a bike and going for a ride around the neighborhood, then by all means keep at it! You should still do whatever you enjoy when it comes to exercise. And for some people, like those who’ve never worked out or have taken a long layoff, just getting in the habit of regularly working out is the most important thing to focus on. So if you’re one of those people, don’t worry about interval training versus steady state. Maybe just going for a 30 minute walk a few times a week is perfect for you right now. But for people that have been working out for at least few months consistently, I say go ahead and give interval training a try.
By: Brandon Cole
Post Sponsor: Happy Healthy Balanced Peaceful Life0