All Posts tagged interval training

Sample Cardio Interval Workout

Workout #2 The following is a basic interval-training exercise. You can vary it as much as you like to make further progress.

Walk for 90 seconds, picking up pace as you go.

Run for one 30-second burst.

Walk at an even pace for another 90 seconds.

Kick it up to another 30-second run.

Walk for another 90 seconds.

Run for 30 seconds.

Walk for 90 seconds.

Run for 30 seconds. Finally, slow to a walk for two minutes… decreasing your pace gradually until you come to a stop. If you find this too challenging at first… switch your runs to fast walks. Gradually turn one fast walk per exercise into a run. And then another as you increase your fitness. Once you get used to this exercise you can continue making progress. Simply pick up the pace of the run… and the walks.


Short bursts of exercise good for heart

All exercise is the same, right? Not so fast, suggests a small study of teens out of Scotland that found that high-intensity exercise may be better than endurance training for preventing cardiovascular disease because it can be done in less time.

The study included 57 adolescent schoolchildren (47 boys and 10 girls) who were randomly assigned to high-intensity or moderate-intensity exercise groups.

Both groups did three exercise sessions a week for seven weeks. The high-intensity group’s program consisted of a series of 20-meter sprints over 30 seconds, while the children in the moderate-intensity group ran steadily for 20 minutes.

By the end of the seven weeks, teens in the moderate-intensity group had completed a total of 420 minutes of exercise, compared to 63 minutes for those in the high-intensity group. Estimated total energy expenditures per child were 4,410 kcal for those in the moderate-intensity group and 907.2 kcal for those in the high-intensity group.

Both groups of children showed significant improvements in cardio-respiratory fitness, blood pressure, body composition and insulin resistance. But the teens in the high-intensity group achieved those health benefits with only 15% of the exercise time put in by those in the moderate-intensity group.

The findings, published April 5 in the American Journal of Human Biology, suggest that brief, intense workouts offer a time-efficient way to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors in teens, said study author Duncan Buchan, of the University of the West of Scotland, and his colleagues.


However, further research is needed, they added.


Cardio + Nutrition + Weight training

In my practice, I educate clients that every intelligent weight loss program needs three core elements: Nutrition, resistance training (bodyweight, free-weight &/or kettlebells), and cardiovascular training.  Lean, muscular, flexible, pain-free, healthy and vital are the goals. The weight training helps us build strength and increase muscle mass (see my 20 minute workouts); the cardiovascular training increases endurance and improves the function of our cardivascular system (see my 20 minute workouts). The nutrition is as important as any. When intelligent nutrition is combined with intelligent training, results are amplified. The results have been exceeding realistic expectations: lean muscle mass is dramatically increased, body fat is dramatically decreased. Every health goal can be enhanced by increasing muscle mass and by decreasing body fat percentiles. Want to fit into your favorite pair of jeans again?  Increase muscle and decrease body fat. Want to run faster? Increase muscle and decrease body fat. Want to look better and feel better? Increase muscle and decrease body fat.
I don’t have all the answers but I am certain that to elevate our health we need to utilize nutrition, resistance weight training, and cardio. You cannot overemphasis one aspect of the three elements to the near exclusion of the other two. Realistically and empirically, the dramatic progress comes from concentrating on weak points and not continually playing to our strengths. 


Within cardio, there is three types 1) steady state 2) interval 3) sustained strength:

Steady State cardio is when you seek to attain a smooth pace during the cardio exercise session. These cardio sessions are usually long. The idea is to keep the muscles relaxed while keeping the oxygen requirement low so you don’t exhaust the muscles. Watching a Kenyan marathon runner or Michael Phelps swim 10,000 meters, the observer is struck by how effortless and graceful the athlete seems – the steady state purposefully relaxed propulsion mode enables athletes to go far longer than they would were they to “power’ their way through selected mode.


Interval cardio, is when you use intermittent bursts of muscle contractions to sprint, bound, leap, lift or run as fast as possible for a short period of time – 20, 30. 40, or 60 seconds and then come back to a normal pace for a minute or two, and then repeat the burst cycle. The benefit of interval training is that it creates an ‘afterburner’ effect and creates oxygen debt. The burst must be followed by a rest period to allow lactic acid to be cleared; at that point the athlete can burst again. Intense games such as basketball, soccer, football or tennis are examples of burst cardio.   

Sustained strength) splits the difference between steady state and intervals. The idea is to engage in a cardio mode that requires muscular contractions for a prolonged period of time. My 20 Minute Workout combines cardio and resistance. You will use bodyweight, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, bands and balls to create sustained strength resistance.

Nutrition + Weight training + Cardio


Interval training session

By now you know the benefits of doing high intensity interval training as a way to boost your metabolism, not only during the workout, but for many hours after the workout is completed, allowing your body to burn more fat calories. This is called “afterburn”.  Many people do their interval training on a treadmill.  But what if you don’t have access to a treadmill, or want to stay home and do your interval routine?

Here is a great high intensity interval workout that you can do anywhere, even your home.  It consists of 6 rounds, where you’ll work hard for 1 minute, and then recover for 2 minutes with a moderate intensity exercise.  The total workout will take 18 minutes.  

60 seconds sprints (max effort), 120 seconds squats

60 seconds jumping jacks (max effort), 120 seconds lunge with twist

60 seconds squat  (max effort), 120 seconds side reaching lunges

60 seconds sprinting (max effort), 120 seconds alternating reverse lunges

60 seconds jumping jacks (max effort), 120 seconds alternating one legged reach

60 seconds squat (max effort), 120 seconds side planks (side bridges)