Gain Muscle, Not Fat

Proven Methods To Get A Body like A Fitness Model

Cardio Interval Training Routines

Cardio interval training routines have been around for a long time, however, this training routine today seems to be gaining in popularity.

Part of the reasoning behind this is that studies are showing that cardio interval training routines are one of the best forms of exercise for weight loss, heart rate training, and aerobic capacity building.  Many people add this cardiorespiratory fitness training to their weight training routines.

What is Cardio Interval Training?

Cardio Interval Training RoutinesIntervals are different that normal cardio exercises due to their intensity and modulated timing.  Traditional cardio routines are 45 minutes to an hour in duration and are usually at a pretty constant pace- think running a few miles on a treadmill for instance.

Conversely, cardio fitness interval routines are constantly changing intensity (pace) for spurts of time with a total duration of up to 20 minutes.  You see, most people cannot maintain the proper level of intensity for any longer than that.  In addition to this, with interval routines, you can switch up the exercises performed.  So perhaps in the 20 minutes you do sprints, jump rope, pull-ups, etc.

The endless combinations of exercises that you can insert into your cardio interval training routines will help you combat boredom with your exercise schedule.

The routines are usually based on a time interval and/or your personal heart rate.

Example Routine

Let me start this by saying that Interval training routines are not for everyone.  If you are just beginning to workout, this type of exercise may be too difficult for you.  So, be sure your are healthy and in good enough condition to attempt these exercises.  If you are in any doubt- go talk to your doctor to see if it is OK for you to perform rigorous activities.

As you start out with intervals, you way want to keep the time short so that you can keep a high intensity level.  So, perhaps you will just start with a 5 minute routine vs. one that is 20 minutes.

Your set should always start out with a moderate pace for the first 1-2 minutes in order to get the muscles warm and the joints loose.  Then you should aim for the same at the end out your set in order to ease the muscles back down and to help prevent the lactic acid (the stuff that makes you ache the next day) from building up too much.

Here is an example 5 minute 20 second routine:interval sprints

  • Moderate Jogging 2 minutes
  • Full speed sprint 20 seconds
  • Moderate Jogging 10 seconds
  • Full speed sprint 20 seconds
  • Moderate Jogging 10 seconds
  • Full speed sprint 20 seconds
  • Moderate Jogging 2 minutes

As you progress you can add more intervals and also change up the type of exercises.  For instance you can substitute a 30 second jump rope session for one of the sprint/jog intervals.  This availability for adaption allows you to change the exercises in order to tailor your routine for your particular sport too.  Thus, as a basketball player, perhaps you to squat jump intervals in addition to the sprints.  And you can work it into your weight training routine like a martial artist and use dumbbells for 100 weighted punches as one of the intervals.

High Intensity Interval Training Results

Cardio interval training routines will get you better condition faster- sometimes in as little as a few weeks!

HIIT routines will help you reduce your body fat, and thus lose weight to give you the appearance of better muscle tone.  In fact, by performing these types of cardio exercises not only will you increase the calories burned while you work out, but you will also increase your EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption).  This means that you will continue to burn more calories even after your workout is over!

This type of exercise tends to work your heart harder that traditional cardio because it must regulate itself more to try to keep a constant beat.  Heart rate training is critical to improve your cardio fitness performance as an athlete.

The bursts of high intensity and then the periods of less activity lend themselves to helping your body decrease its recovery time.  By this I mean it will eventually take you less time to recover from a 100m sprint and allow you perform at a normal level faster.

HIIT can also help improve your max VO2.  in fact, many many runners do these type of workouts to improve their running time.  This increasing of aerobic ability means that you can perform at higher intensities for longer periods of time.  So you will have more wind in your sails as you build up your aerobic capacity.

Speaking of more wind…

Well, this post seems to be getting pretty long.  There has been a lot of info for you to consider.  We will be discussing cardio interval training again in the future with some more detail on how it helps to lose fat and build muscle.  Until then… keep up the hard work!


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