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> What is interval training? – what does this workout consist of? 

What is interval training? – what does this workout consist of? 

Publish date 13.01.2023

You can read it in 7 minut

What is interval training? – what does this workout consist of? 

Have you ever heard of interval training? It is becoming increasingly popular among people. Are you wondering why? Probably because of the great results that runners achieve with them.

Thanks to interval training (or HIIT – High intensity interval training), you can burn excess body fat, lose weight faster and improve your fitness. This is why runners choose this type of training and add it to their exercise plan. 

What is interval training? What should you pay attention to? How to start interval training? This and much more you will learn from this article. Are you interested? Read on! 

What is interval training?

You won’t start training if you don’t have an answer to the basic question: what is interval training? It is a workout that consists of performing very intense exercises in series, between tough exercises there are lighter exercises, or breaks.

Maybe you’re thinking that it’s not that difficult and since there are breaks, you can do that. Do it and you will see for yourself. 

In the case of High intensity interval training , I need to mention HRmax – maximum heart rate. In moments of maximum effort, you can reach up to 90% HRmax. At moments of rest, it drops to about 50% of HRmax. If you want to learn exactly what HRmax is and how to calculate it, click HERE

What is important when exercising?

  • the heart rate must increase 
  • engage as many muscles as possible during each exercise – examples: jumping jacks, jumping jacks, jump squats. 
  • exercises must be dynamic, not static – during these exercises, you make dynamic movements. They not only engage muscles but improve joint mobility.

What does the maximum pace of the exercises depend on?

It all depends on how athletic you are. You will certainly not be surprised when I tell you that the more athletic you are, the higher the tempo.  

What to do in-between intervals? 

Between intervals, it’s best to focus on moving at least a little. This can be difficult at the very beginning. However, remember not to strain yourself. Rest for a few minutes, stand still, and relax your muscles. 

You can also walk or jog very slowly. 

“What if not running?”

Then it’s a good idea to do some light exercises. This is a way for you to continue to stay in motion. 

Training interval for athletes

How to do interval training? 

If you want to do interval training then you need to introduce some routine and cyclicity into your training. What does that mean?

Use the pattern: fast – steady – fast – steady. If you do the exercises like this then you can talk about intervals. Decide for yourself how long the workout will be.

Do a series of exercises several times. If you do it once, you have nothing to count on for results. Only several series will make you achieve what you expect. 

Interval training – how long? 

When it comes to the length of intervals there is some very information you need to assimilate: 

  • Interval training can last even only a few minutes – surprised? Remember that this is a very intense workout. 
  • Train it for a maximum of 30 minutes – no more, so that you don’t get overtired and strain your muscles. For beginners HIIT workouts of a maximum of 10 minutes are the most suitable.
  • Intensity is more important than distance – most runners look at distance. However, not the case. It’s better to do a shorter workout, but more involved. 

Interval training – how often?

Preferably 2-3 times a week. No more, so that you don’t overtrain or burn out. In addition, you need rest after such an intense workout. Moreover, if you have severe soreness after an earlier workout let go and wait until it stops hurting. 

Interval training – benefits

Intervals are not just liked by runners because they provide adrenaline and variety during interval training. Benefits are the most important thing, yes? I will show you many positive effects that are worth knowing. Here are a few of them! 

  • Improve body shape – as you already know from the previous part of the article, intervals are characterized by high intensity. In 30 minutes you can burn 500-800 kcal. This way you will burn many calories.
  • More afterburn – even after the workout is over, the calories continue to burn. Why? This is because intervals are anaerobic efforts. During rest, the body has to make up for the oxygen debt – and this requires increased energy expenditure.
  • Time efficiency – don’t have time to train? With intervals, it’s not a problem. Even after a few minutes of doing the exercises you will already be very tired. Therefore, you can perform it after work. Even if you are limited by your duties, carve out 30 minutes for exercising. 
  • Muscle strengthening – this is the perfect workout to get all your muscle parts moving and used. 
  • Better endurance – if you want to run long distances then add intervals to your training. They provide better endurance during marathons.
  • Resistance to pain – intervals are a natural way to toughen your muscles. What it means. Surely you have felt a burning pain in your muscles many times. You will feel it even more during intervals. As a result, you will be able to run long distances or uphill runs in the future without any problems. 
  • Allow you to increase your pace – all by increasing the intensity of each interval workout. 
  • Better mental toughness – fast fatigue is combined with intervals. This will make you more resistant to crits during normal runs. Also will allow you to reach the finish line. 
  • Breathing control – rhythmic breathing is essential even during interval runs. It’s not easy when you’re moving so fast. If you learn to do it on such intense workouts then normal running will not be a problem. 

How to start interval training? – What before starting training? 

You already know what intervals are. Now it’s time to move on to training. 

“Will I need any equipment?”

In theory, no. You can perform High intensity interval training without any equipment just on the carpet in your room. This is an ideal option for people who are just starting with this type of training. If you start to get better and better, you can add an exercise mat, dumbbells, or a stepper to your workouts. What you choose depends on the type of exercise you have planned. 

During your workout, you need to control your intervals (time). This is very important, so you should equip yourself with a timer on your phone. This will allow you to perfectly measure the time of your sessions performed during the workout. 

“Can I train with a trainer on Youtube?”

Of course, you can. Then you won’t even have to control the time, because the voice on the video will let you know to finish the exercise. However, you must remember to choose your Youtube workout advisedly. First, browse through it and see what exercises are performed and the intensity of that workout. That way you won’t lose time when you suddenly find out that this is not the workout you had in mind. 

Strengthen your body by performing intervals 

What is interval training? Very intense series of exercises. Therefore, as you can guess, it is not suitable for beginners. You simply don’t have enough strength and poor conditioning to perform them. Therefore, start by strengthening your muscles and working on your fitness. Once you’ve done that, you’ll finally be able to opt for interval training. 

However, that’s not all. You should also let go of intervals if you are on a very low-calorie diet and fasting. This can affect your mood badly. Moreover, because it is an intense and demanding workout, you may not have enough energy, and what’s more, you may feel weak or even faint during the workout. 

Warming up and stretching? In these cases, interval training is no different. You should do a good warm-up before and stretch after the workout. There should be a minimum of 2 days of rest between interval training for muscle and nervous system recovery. Do not combine intervals with other workouts in one day.

Take care of your health – go to the doctor

Before starting interval training, go to the doctor and get your heart checked. The cardiologist will determine if everything is fine and if you can safely perform all the exercises. If there are no contraindications, great. If there are any – then give up such workouts. Remember that health and safety is the most important thing. 

High intensity interval training  – sportsman’s clothing 

Sports attire for interval training should be comfortable. Even if you think that “after all, it is not worth buying an outfit for 15-30 minutes of training” you are wrong. In such a short period, with such an intensity of training, you are bound to get sweaty. Moreover, to exercise comfortably, the outfit should not restrain your movements. 

The most important thing when choosing the perfect sportswear is shoes. They should provide adequate cushioning and be comfortable. What’s more, you need to choose shoes for the appropriate physical activity. For intervals, shoes should have a thick sole and be quite stiff

As for the T-shirt, choose one made of elastic material. It will fit snugly and won’t restrict movement during workouts. 

Now you know what interval training is. What is more, you know how to prepare yourself for this challenge workout.

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