Interval Training for Weight Loss

How to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth the Paleo Way
October 27, 2000
How to Decide to Go Paleo
November 19, 2000

If you’re on the Paleo diet but have been doing the same steady jogs on that treadmill for months now and still haven’t lost weight, it may just be the time to consider shaking up things a bit. Try interval training!

Interval training is used by many top athletes and sport coaches in their training programs but there is nothing really complicated about it. Basically, it involves working at alternating high and low bursts of intensity. So, using your treadmill as an example – run the usual steady jog for 5 minutes, then push yourself by upping your speed for about two minutes, then get back to your steady jog. By alternating the two throughout the workout, you force your body to exert more effort than it usually does during steady, continuous workouts of moderate intensity.

History of interval training

Developed during the 1930s in Sweden, interval training was better known as “fartlek” – Swedish for “fast play” maybe due to the bursts of speed of various duration and lengths that are involved. It soon caught up with track stars, swimmers and cross-country runners. It’s now a mainstay among amateur and professional athletic coaches.

With interval training bear the following points in mind:

  • The longer your length of work-intervals, the better the effect.
  • The speed should be comfortable to raise your heart rate to the targeted percentage of maximum heart rate (MHR). This will depend on your fitness level and age.
  • The quantity of repetitions ought to reflect your age and condition.
  • The rest intervals should allow you to jog and bring your heart rate down to about 100-110 beats each minute.

However, intervals could be used by anyone, advanced or beginner, for almost all types of workouts.

So how exactly does interval training help you with weight loss?

Maximizes calorie burning- Simply put, inteval training burns more calories than one-pace training does. The key to weight loss burning more calories than are consumed. Intervals can make you fitter, which allows one to work out longer and harder and burn more calories and fat.

Flexible depending on your fitness level- You can match and mix your intervals all depending on how fit you actually are. What’s more, it isn’t confined to just running; you can do intervals on rowing machines, cross trainers or in swimming pools-It’s all about varying your intensity and speed. With interval training, you are capable of adjusting several factors within the workout: the duration of intervals, rest periods, as well as the kind of activity occurring during those rest periods.

Makes you faster and fitter- Interval training will help you quicken your pace. For example in cross-country intervals allow runners a glimpse of faster running with the reward of short breaks that have positive mental benefits.

Intervals give you a mental boost- All exercise needs to be mentally and physically stimulating. Once a certain regime bores you, you very unlikely to enjoy and stick to it. While there’s no substitute for longer continuous runs for promoting aerobic fitness, intervals engage fast-twitch muscles while adding a sense of variety to what could be laborious training schedules.
James Christopher, Creative Writer