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Member Comments for the Article:

Get Results with Interval Training

Add Fun and Variety to Your Workouts

52 Comments







TWEITZY

8/27/2012 11:56:06 AM

Heart rate monitors are just a tool and you can get one that is VERY easy to use that offers basic functions. I've been using them for over 3 decades and have used some very sophisticated models. What they can help you do is LEARN what is really going on. Perceived effort can and often is different than REAL effort. But with practice you can learn what your intensities really are.

To the greater point of the article: slow-go cardio does very LITTLE in the way of fat loss. And unless you have some specific training goals, say, run a marathon, there is very little need to actually engage in slow-go cardio exercise.

One study showed that a research group compared 20 weeks of endurance training vs. 15 weeks of interval training. The results: While the aerobic/endurance group actually managed to burn more total calories during exercise over 20 weeks (logical they trained 5 weeks longer), the interval training group lost NINE TIMES more body fat. NINE TIMES.
More FAT LOSS in LESS time of exercise.
[Tremblay A, Simoneau JA, Bouchard C.
Impact of exercise intensity on body fatness and skeletal muscle metabolism.
Metabolism. 1994 Jul;43(7):814-8]

BTW - I am 53 with single digit body fat, can run a 3-hour marathon and 19 minute 5k, canoe 8 miles an hour, do 80+ push-ups in a minute, do 30-35 good chin-ups. I can do this BECAUSE I do HIGH intensity exercise, regularly. I also believe HIT with weights to be the BEST form of exercise there is, as long as it's done correctly.


GFIKE1566

8/27/2012 10:07:28 AM

I started doing what I will call "heavy" interval training about six months ago, and it has made a huge difference in my weight and endurance. I run 3-4 miles; running the first mile at a 8.5 minute per mile pace; then I do alternating 25-30 second sprints (as hard as I can go) walk or jog slowly for 60 seconds; then another 25-30 second sprint. I do ten-twelve of these in the middle of my run. I get to about 90% of my max heart rate. I slow it down about the last half mile and then I give it one more shot. It works!

DEPSERV

8/25/2012 10:31:36 AM

DEPSERV's SparkPage
I've been doing interval training for over 30 years; I was doing it long before I ever heard the term "interval training." My main exercise has always been martial arts, and running has been a close second (they're both good for exercise and self defense). Because of the principle of specificity, a cycle of intense activity and rest is the best way for martial arts to be practiced; not all schools do them this way, but after I got a sense of what I was doing I always did. And I found that mixing fast walking with short sprints worked very well too. I used to do this sort of exercise for hours, literally, without wearing out.

Now at 58 I still do this type of exercise, but a lot less of it because I get tired a lot faster and don't recover as quickly. But I'm in good shape and very healthy (except for a lack of eating discipline that I'm working on). So I'd say extreme interval training served me very well.

I also do long term slow steady exercise, like working in my garden for hours at a time so that I'm worn out by the time I'm done. I think this complements interval training. Variety in exercise is always good.

NABAK147112

8/5/2012 10:02:23 PM

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i love interval training. it makes the time go by so much faster(or so i think) and i think it really does help..or so ive been surprised and pleased with my results!

LALISJO

6/12/2012 9:52:42 AM

I've been doing intervals for a while, and believe me, it works. No more boring cardio. This really gets you moving. I beluieve anyone can do it. Remember, do just enough to feel out of your comfort zone, like the article recommends, too much can do some serious harm and make you want to give up.

HORACE_SCHIDT

4/20/2012 11:01:01 PM

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I have a "regular interval" regime. I walk on my old treadmill, year around. I vary my pace, according to the music on my cd player. (No mp3's, yet, but soon!) With my stride, I vary my pace from 2.6 to 3.3 mph, while listening to my favorite disc: Roughhousin', by Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials! The disc covers my 45 minutes, nicely, and I never get tired of it. Of course, that may change in a decade or two ;)

NAVALE

2/13/2012 10:19:39 AM

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Thank you for the great ideas. I read this article and immediately went to the gym. I walk on the treadmill very slowly which is boring so I did interval with upping the incline and it is less boring and feels like exercising more.

CJT183

2/9/2012 3:43:09 PM

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I just started interval training and I LOVE it! The time goes by so fast...but it is very intense and may not be for everyone. I'm over 300lbs but in pretty good shape otherwise and have been a regular exerciser for a while. If you're a beginner, I think you'd want to start out with very short high intensity intervals with longer recovery and slowy build up to a 1/1 ratio. I know I'll never do another regular cardio workout again! I presently do a 5 min warm-up, 20 minutes in intervals, and a 5 min cool-down. My intervals are 30 seconds high intensity and 1 minute recovery. I make sure I get my heart rate back down to 70% (I wear a monitor) during the recovery interval. I want to build up to 1 min high with 30 second recovery if I can...some day! I use an elliptical for this but was recently thinking that a Stairmaster would be awesome to try with intervals too. It's good to know that something I actually like doing is getting such good press!

ELYSE2012

2/5/2012 11:58:01 PM

I was introduced to intervals in my spinning classes. To be defined as interval the spurts have to be short. So during one 4 minute song, the instructor made us spin extra quick 20 sec, followed by a slow 10 sec X 8.
I started using that type of training with running. Ir does help pass the time, when I don't have time for a long run, I warm up 5-10 minutes, then my 4 minutes of intervals and then another 5 minutes of running and cool down. I could be back in about 20 min and I still noticed an improvement in my endurance.
But what really surprised me was that after the interval, for the rest of the run even the long ones, I was less tired than before the interval training.
Some days, when I am really tired, my fast pace is not as fast but it changes my rhythm and feels like I worked out harder.
Definitely worth a try!

RUNNING122752

2/5/2012 7:44:45 PM

RUNNING122752's SparkPage
I think I need this. Running 30 minutes was once a goal, but now I need this to shake things up a little. Thanks for the article.

KSHEJNA

2/5/2012 3:27:10 PM

KSHEJNA's SparkPage
This article was helpful to me. I didn't know why intervals were good, and I have never tried interval training when not at the gym on the machines.

SLC1989

2/5/2012 7:46:06 AM

SLC1989's SparkPage
Doing the intervals gives you something else to think about and makes the time fly by!

JUDICAT63

1/26/2012 4:18:40 AM

JUDICAT63's SparkPage
Feeling a burning sensation in muscles is a sign that you have done something wrong! If you have warmed up, then exercised your muscles should only feel "warmed" - if you feel a "tingle" then the build up of lactic acid in the muscle is increased because you haven't warmed them up enough, having a "burning" sensation is when the muscles go into shock! (ie you jump into freezing water... I think there should be a little better description on what your muscles should feel like - as people feeling the "burn" are usually intense work outs - and the "feel the burn" is merely a description of the workout - not what they are actually feeling! You should feel really warmed to know you are working out correctly!

LIVINGBYGRACE

5/27/2011 5:03:03 AM

What is the difference between "use" and utilize? It is a fitness article not a a scrabble game so no extra points for extra letters!

CHRIS3874

4/13/2011 11:37:56 PM

CHRIS3874's SparkPage
I used to walk outside by myself and or used the treadmill (not one with a programme). I then started using the bike we got some time ago with an interval trainer built in (not a great one) But it seems to do the trick and thats all that matters to me.

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