Interval training: what it is and its benefits

Interval training: what it is and its benefits

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It would seem to be one of the trends of the year among fitness enthusiasts but those who don't go to gyms probably don't know what it is and the advantages that an activity like the one we are about to describe can have for humans. L'Interval training is one of the many training techniques characterized, as the name suggests, by the alternation of high intensity phases with low intensity phases. All this makes sense, it is not done for fun or "torture". In this way the metabolism is accelerated and our whole body becomes more performing and fit from a sporting point of view.

Interval Training: what it is

L'Interval training it is a physical activity designed to also have a slimming effect but it is not its only purpose and advantage. There are others and we can do it even if we have no weight problems to stay fit and improve our sports performance. The fact that it is "at intervals" of high and low intensity identifies it as a semi-aerobic activity. In the more rhythmic phases the heart rate which then goes to reduce as soon as you pass to the opposite phase, the one in which physical effort decreases but never to the point of allowing us to fully recover our breath.

To calibrate the activities of interval training it is based exactly on the heart rate that becomes a reference to decide how to alternate exercises that allow to reach the anaerobic threshold, with phases of active recovery in the aerobic threshold. As you can imagine, if you have never tried it, it is a very tiring method and therefore cannot be done on a daily basis. The recommended one is 3 sessions per week never longer than 30-40 minutes. There are courses that guide us in the different phases but no one forbids us to equip ourselves with a heart rate monitor to detect and monitor the heartbeat.

The concept of alternating different intensities of physical training can also be applied to other sports activities outdoors or in the gym. During high-intensity training intervals, heart activity must be at 80-90% of the maximum heart rate, while when passing to the phase with medium-low intensity, it drops to 50-70% of the maximum heart rate. This continuous jumping brings a improved blood flow capacity in the muscles and therefore also the disposal of lactate from the circulation.

Interval Training: Benefits

As we immediately anticipated the purpose ofinterval training it is not mere weight loss even if in fact it is one of the most effective activities if that is our goal. It brings other very interesting benefits even if we are normal weight and so we want to stay.

If done methodically, without overdoing it the duration or intensity under stress, it improves cardiovascular activity and raises the anaerobic threshold. Over time we will see endurance and speed performance become much more competitive. Returning to weight loss, it should be emphasized that this alternation leads us to burn the calories derived from fat, therefore to lose weight in a better way than in other cases in which we go to erode lean mass.

Looking at the benefits it brings, this type of technique can be considered perfect for those who need to get out of an overweight limbo or even for those who are already very trained but want to put an extra gear and improve their sporting results. It is highly not recommended to start from zero to a thousand without ever having done some functional training or circuit training.

Interval training: examples

We can take a look at some training programs to understand how they can be composed. First of all we can find some to do outdoors by running, on the treadmill or on an exercise bike. For those who have to start from scratch, 5 minutes of gentle walking can be foreseen followed by 5 minutes of walking at medium-high speed to stay in the aerobic threshold and then finish with 40/60 seconds running or brisk walking (flat or uphill) to arrive to reach the anaerobic threshold.

These last two phases of aerobic and anaerobic threshold can be repeated 5 times and then a few minutes of cool down finally, so that the heart rate decreases gradually. We can also use the exercise bike if we prefer.

People already trained after a warm-up of 5 minutes with a walk fast can alternate 1 km of running on the flat or uphill (60/70% FCM) with 300/400 meters of sprinting on the flat (80/90% FCM) for several times, closing with a gentle jog that leads to a walk until heart rate does not drop.

The idea of ​​alternating different intensities can be applied to all sports, the important thing is to regulate the times well and control heart activity. Usually you start with a short warm-up followed by exercises for a duration of 3 minutes until you reach 60/70% of your maximum heart rate and then 30/40 seconds of exercises that

allow you to bring the heart between 80 and 90% of the maximum heart rate. The rhythm alternation must be done 5 times and then must follow the cool down. Sports enthusiasts after warming up can alternate 4 minutes until they reach 60/70% of their maximum heart rate and 40/60 seconds of exercises that allow them to reach 80/90% of the maximum heart rate. Repeating the alternation 5 times always ends with a few minutes of cool down.


  1. Willa

    Somewhere I have already seen this ... And if on the topic, thanks.

  2. Sajas

    similar is there anything?

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