Interval training is the holy grail of Fitness. it’s probably the single most effective way to burn fat, increase metabolism and drastically improve your VO2max (stamina).
Conventional Wisdom is WRONG
Conventional wisdom has been that in order to achieve fat loss, trainees had to perform aerobic workouts for more than 30 minutes in order to activate fat loss. Interval training is counter intuitive to this principle.
A study by Stephen H. Boutcher from the University of New South Wales found that affects of regular aerobic activity on body fat is NEGLIGIBLE. Based on his research he found that interval training was more effective at reducing subcutaneous abdominal fat more than any other exercise.
Boutcher also found that interval training helps massively with both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
Why Elite Sports Athletes Use Interval Training
Kouichi Irisawa, head of the Japanese national speed skating team had been using interval training for several years, and led directly to marked improvements of the Japanese speed skating team.
Since then interval training has been adopted by countless sports coaches from football coaches such as John Thomas, the strength and conditioning coach for Penn State. To combat athletes such as UFC champion George St. Pierre.
Real fat loss, without sacrificing muscle mass.
Perhaps the real benefit of using interval training over conventional cardio is the anaerobic and aerobic benefits. Simply put anaerobic fitness is the ability to exert intense force for long periods; aerobic fitness is the ability to keep running at moderate speeds for long periods of time.
The problem with running for hours on a treadmill is that it only tackles your aerobic fitness. Worse still it actually instigates loss of muscle mass, which is not what most people want.
This creates a twofold problem. Firstly, you undo months or years of hard work spent in building your muscles. Secondly, muscle mass is instrumental in fat loss because it increases metabolism, because it increases your resting rate of calorie burn. Loss in muscle mass will reduce your metabolism, thereby reducing your overall resting calorie burn.
This is probably why MMA fighters use interval training, because it allows them to increase their fitness, without losing muscle mass.
How exactly do I get started with interval training?
Interval training is the general umbrella term for workouts that cycle periods of intense activity followed by half time for rest or low intensity exercise. This is usually repeated for cycles for duration of 10 minutes.
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT is usually performed with 30 seconds of high intensity followed by 30 seconds of low intensity (50% difficulty). Max number of sets is 12. So in effect you will be exercising for 12 minutes straight. It may seem short. But this is a challenging exercise.
Tabata is used by soccer players a lot. You perform 8 rounds of 20 seconds of very intense activity followed by 10 seconds of rest. So the workout lasts for a total of 4 minutes. But don’t be fooled. Tabata is just as intense, if not more intense than HIIT.
Workout programme that combines interval training with kettlebells.
If you wanted any more proof of why interval training is so ruthlessly effective at fat loss, no example is more potent than Mike Whitfield’s massive 105lbs fat loss. Which you can read about here.
The 40 Workout Finishers programme is a great complimentary system for your existing workout. You can even use the existing exercises from your current workouts; use the interval training principles to get a massive boost in fat loss and calorie burn.