Interval training, in case you don't know the term, is a type of workout cycle that consists of a series of low-intensity exercises and high-intensity exercises with brief pauses in between. The purpose of alternating between high and low exercises (and mini breaks) is to encourage a better metabolism for burning away fat as well as support the muscle and energy recovery process. The whole cycle, when performed regularly can help the person burn more calories through a short period of time and keep away unwanted body fat, without the risk of losing muscle tissue.
If you wish to reap all these benefits out of your workout and more, here are two interval training workouts to try out:
What it is: An interval exercise cycle that is based on super brief 3-second breaks, and with each break, you progressively increase the intensity of your exercises over a period of 3-4 weeks
Why it works: These 30-second breaks and gradual increase in intensity of exercises makes you perform at 100% of your abilities, which typically start during the first 6 seconds of your training. This exercise can help you realise what it feels like to perform at your peak.
How to make it: Since the breaks in-between the exercises are very short, aerobic home or gym exercises are the most appropriate for this cycle. You may do a 15-20 minute jogging, run the stairs, do some rope exercises, or ride your bike. The first week begin with 10 rounds/6 seconds each in maximum peak and then pause for 24 seconds. Then, gradually increase the ration of exercise vs breaks to 10 seconds exercise/20 seconds break and then 15 seconds exercise/15 seconds pause over the 3rd and 4th week.
What it is: an exercise regime based on time, with gradually reduced breaks where you progressively reduce the push-ups as well.
Why it works: If you typically perform High-Intensity-Interval-Training workouts with super brief breaks e.g sprints, the breaks with progressive reduction of time will help you gain more cardiovascular endurance and energy to perform your next round high-intensity exercises. This means that you will be able to work more muscles at the same time and not just a single isolated muscle.
How to make it: Incorporate this exercise regime towards the end of your usual training session (spare around 8-10 minutes) and choose three plyometric exercises e.g kneeling jumping squats, push-up squats, alternate leg bounds, heavy medicine ball throws, or bench jumps. Do the first exercise for one minute (making as many repeats as you can) and then pause for 10 seconds. Do the second exercise for 45 seconds and then relax for 15 seconds and finally do the last exercise for 30 seconds and take a 10 second break. Do 3 rounds of exercises in total.