Research shows that interval training – workouts in which you alternate periods of high-intensity exercise with low-intensity recovery periods – increases fitness and burns more calories over a short period of time than steady-state cardio (you know – just doing the same thing for your whole workout time).
So how do you get the most out of interval training, and how long should each push and recovery be? One of the many great things about intervals is that there’s no single hard-and-fast rule. Different lengths of work and recovery bring different benefits – and they’re all good.
Your interval training can be with your running, cycling, and even your strength training. If you’re a runner, begin with 30-second sprints every three minutes of jogging/running and build your way up to a full minute.
Indoor cycling classes are a great way to hit your interval training as well. Most classes involve lots of sprints with intervals of hills, jumps, and in some cases even upper body work.
With your weight training, your muscles get used to your routines a lot faster than you may think. Instead of hitting one muscle group at a time, try intervals of one set per muscle and circuit your way through (ex: chest press, shoulder press, bicep curl, squat). Try a sculpt class and you’ll be amazed at how much the intervals will challenge and shock your muscles.
Add these interval training plans to your gym routine to burn more calories, build more fitness, and get out of the gym faster.
Try this interval program for a quick but intense workout – all you need is energy and a floor.
Go for four sets followed by a one-minute break between each set. Total workout time is 16 minutes!
One minute of jumping jacks
One minute of push-ups (as many as you can)
One minute of jump squats (if you have sensitive knees start with stationary squats)
Rest for one minute and repeat!
Dov Segal is a master fitness trainer and cycling instructor. He has been training clients one-on-one for over 10 years, specializing in obesity, post rehab, heart conditions, and overall strength building. He and his wife, Ava, have a studio in Queens, separate for men and women, called Clique Fitness, which offers personal-training sessions, group fitness classes, massage, and other Clique care services. www.cliquefitnesscenter.com, (718)380-0046