Fitness is an important aspect of life because only a fit body can house a fit mind. Some people try hard to maintain the level of fitness by joining a gym.
To be clear, joining a gym won’t always guarantee that you’ll be fit.
The right combination of diet and exercise makes a human fit. To find that right combination, sometimes you might want to go an extra mile. Try to find yours by following a routine called Interval Training.
What Is Interval Training?
Interval training was a routine workout plan started since the 1990s. This training consists of a high-intensity workout in short bursts with intervals in between each one. This cycle includes different exercises and continues for a maximum time of 30-45 minutes. Although, 15-20 minutes will also do.
Benefits Of Interval Training
Interval training has benefits that mainstream workout doesn’t have. Researchers conducted between normal workout routines and interval training and they showed an interesting result.
These studies were conducted in a stipulated period of time and average results were recorded.
People following HIIT (high-intensity interval training) lost 2% of their body fat as compared to a steady-state group who lost only 0.3%.
Also, the people following HIIT gained 2 pounds of muscle mass versus the steady-state group, who almost lost one.
These results varied on an individual basis and so will it for you if you choose to start a routine of HIIT.
How To Choose Your Optimum Plan?
Your optimum interval training plan must be according to your workout plan. Imbibing interval training into a regular workout is a great way to ensure optimum gains and fat loss.
Working out for more than 45 minutes with more than 75% of it being high intensity could prove detrimental towards gains.
Problems Of Interval Training
Interval training does have its disadvantages. To be more appropriately phrased, caution is to be exercised!
Interval training intensifies the work of your Central Nervous System (CNS) and it requires at least 48 hours to recover from the workout. Recovery time here is just as important as in lifting weights. Hence, interval training must only be done once every alternate day. Although, twice a week does work fine and is the sweet-spot for many people.
Incorporating or practicing interval training daily means overtraining. This causes the nervous system to stress out and it gets pushed to its limits. This leads to muscle damage, metabolic instability & stress, mechanical tensions, etc. which are considered as nightmares in the world of bodybuilding.
Popular Interval Training Routines: Tabata
One of the most popular training methods is Tabata. Named after a Japanese researcher who studied interval training, this routine consists of an all-out activity for 20 seconds, resting for 10 seconds and repeating this cycle for four minutes. He found out in his research that this four-minute workout routine was just as beneficial as performing a regular, slow cardio.
His famous cycling demonstration showed that 20 seconds of all-out cycling followed by 10 seconds of low-intensity cycling was just as beneficial as performing a 45-minute cardio four times a week. This research proved equal benefit in maximizing aerobic capacity (VO2), which is considered an essential parameter in measuring an athlete’s cardiovascular endurance.
Recommended Routines: Barbell Complexes
These routines have been followed for quite a long time now. Barbell complexes are known for their ‘complexity’ and their maximum utilization of muscles. The set of exercises mentioned below must be performed for a minimum of 5 reps and a maximum of 8, and for one set.
- Barbell Squats
- Good Morning
- Front Barbell Squat
- Zercher Squats
- Romanian Deadlift
There are some additional exercises that you can add to them.
- Push Press
- Bent Over Barbell Row
- Power Clean
A note to be taken here is that Barbell complexes must be done for only 8-10 minutes at a time.
Strongman intervals are highly effective and are different than those followed by powerlifters. The combinations given below are to be performed only one set for a distance of 50 feet.
- Power Clean and Sled Drag-harness.
- Yoke Walk and Keg Load.
- Crucifix and Log Lift.
To be performed only thrice a week to avoid overtraining.
Burpees are a great way to perform interval training without the use of weights. There are several different routines for doing so and may depend upon personal preference.
- Total Repetition Method: Set a target number of repetition plan to be achieved under 10 minutes. The number of sets can be according to your personal preference. Also, this includes a catch, the rest interval is also up to your discretion.
- Tabata Burpee Routine: Remember this routine we spoke about? It is exactly the same. Try to do a maximum number of burpees for 20 seconds followed by a 10-second rest and repeat this cycle for 4 minutes.
Adding Interval training to your forte will make sure that you get the best out of your workouts and the best out of your life. Just make sure you eat healthy alongside to get the maximum benefits.