You’ve been going to the gym and burning calories for weeks, even months, but you’re getting board with all the same machines and the monotony of your routine; It’s time for a change! Here is a great way to change up your cardio routine and boost your metabolism into burning extra calories. Try interval training!
Interval training is used a lot in competitive sports, as well as, training for marathons and triathlons. When used for these three types of activities it helps athletes push themselves harder. In the gym setting, it is often used to get clients through plateaus and into a better metabolic state.
“Interval training also helps prevent the injuries often associated with repetitive endurance exercise, and they allow you to increase your training intensity without over training or burn-out. In this way, adding intervals to your workout routine is a good way to cross train. (Credit).”
Here is the interval training program that I give to my clients to help them resist plateaus and spice up their cardio routines.
- Start with a 5 minute warm up at a steady easy pace.
- Next increase the resistance to a medium intensity. Keep it at that resistance for 1 minute.
- Increase the resistance again by 1 level (or appropriate speed change). Hold that level for another minute.
- Increase resistance again – hold for 1 minute.
- Increase in level- hold 1 minute.
- Lastly, drop the resistance back down to your very first level and hold for 1 minute
- REPEAT The interval for at least 5 rounds (or as long as you choose)
Here is an example routine for an elliptical trainer.
Minute 1-5 WARM-UP (level 3)
Minute 6 (level 4)
Minute 7 (level 5)
Minute 8 ( level 6)
Minute 9 (level 7)
Minute 10( drop back down to level 4 AND repeat cycle).
There are various ways to do intervals… this is just a very simple interval program. If you are feeling daring, then try changing the interval length from 1 minute to 2 minutes in length or even 3 minutes before changing the level.
Keep in mind that your final level in the cycle should be very challenging. If your last level in the cycle seems too easy, then you should increase the intensity. You can judge the intensity based on the “talk test.” The talk test is exactly that… a test to see how easily you talk. If you can still talk in full sentences and you don’t gasp for air then you are on an easy level. If you gasp a bit in between words then you are at a moderate level. If you can barely speak at all then the intensity is considered high.