In the world of health and fitness, there have been many trends and fads over the years. We’ve seen DVD workouts, we’ve had meal replacement shakes, CrossFit became a global phenomenon and not too long ago, we saw a huge increase in popularity for interval training. This is why we’re going to be looking at what is an interval training workout in today’s article. More and more people are choosing to incorporate interval training into their everyday training routines and for very good reason. If you feel you’ve hit a natural plateau with your training, or if you simply want to try something new, interval training could be precisely what you need. Here’s a look at what is an interval training workout, what interval training is, why it is so beneficial, and much more on top of that. So, put up your feet, get comfortable, and let’s start by looking at what interval training actually is.

What is interval training?

Interval training, also known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a training concept in which individuals following the protocol will exercise and alternate between periods of high intensity exercise and slow and steady exercise for a number of different rounds. Now, interval training is not new. It’s been around for decades. Sadly, like most things in life nowadays, interval training only really took off when it became popular online. More and more videos began surfacing on Instagram and social media, depicting super-shredded individuals performing high intensity interval training workouts. A very basic way of describing interval training is simply alternating between walking and sprinting. Say for example, that you walk for 30 seconds, then sprint for 30 seconds, and spinning for 30 seconds, you will have just technically performed one round of an interval training workout. You can perform interval training during cardio sessions, or you can implement them in resistance-based workouts with both free weight exercises and bodyweight exercises.

What is an interval training workout?

Now we’re going to give you a few examples of interval training workouts which you can try the next time you’re working out and fancy a change.

Basic treadmill interval workout – To begin with, we’re going to stat off nice and easy by looking at a simple treadmill-based workout that you can try. We say it’s nice and easy, because describing it. Actually performing the workout however, is anything but:

  • After warming up and stretching, begin by getting onto a treadmill and setting it to a speed that allows you to walk at a gentle pace, for say, 30 seconds.
  • Next, speed up the treadmill and set it to a speed in which you will be sprinting at near 100% of your max capacity. Sprint for a further 30 seconds.

 

  • Bring the speed right down and repeat the above process for as many rounds as you can squeeze into 20 minutes.

 

  • If you need longer to recover, try walking for 60 seconds instead of 30.

 

Bodyweight interval training circuit – People often associate interval training with cardiovascular workouts like the one we listed above. Whilst when it comes to questions regarding what is an interval training workout you’ll find that interval training is often associated with cardio, you can also use it in resistance-based workouts. This next interval training circuit is based upon a series of bodyweight exercises:

 

*Perform each of the exercises for as many reps as possible within 30 seconds. After each exercise, take 10 seconds to catch your breath. Once you’ve completed all 5 exercises, you’ve completed 1 round. Take 60 seconds before moving onto the next round. Repeat the circuit for 5 rounds in total.

 

  • 30 seconds of burpees
  • 30 seconds of push ups
  • 30 seconds of leg raises
  • 30 seconds of bodyweight squats
  • 30 seconds of mountain climbers

 

Kettlebell interval workout – It isn’t just your bodyweight that you can utilize for resistance during an interval training workout. It turns out that you can also use kettlebells, as demonstrated in this next interval training workout:

 

*Perform each exercise for as many reps as possible within 30 seconds. Take 60 seconds to rest between each set. Repeat the circuit for 5 times in total.

  • 30 seconds of kettlebell swings
  • 30 seconds of kettlebell squats
  • 30 seconds of kettlebell overhead presses
  • 30 seconds of kettlebell rows
  • 30 seconds of kettlebell lunges
  • 30 seconds of kettlebell snatches per arm

 

What are the benefits of interval training?

 

Okay, so we’ve looked at what is an interval training workout, and we’ve given you a few workouts you might wish to try. Now it’s time for us to finish off by looking at the benefits of interval training. They include:

 

Burn fat – With interval training, you are working at a high intensity which means that your heart rate is elevated, and you’ll find yourself burning off a lot of calories. Not only that, but your metabolism is temporarily increased after you train, so even while resting you can still burn more calories than you would normally.

 

Save time – If you don’t have much time to train but want to make sure that you still get an effective workout in, interval training is great. In just 20 minutes you can potentially burn as many calories as you would with an hour of steady state cardio on a treadmill. For building muscle, again, you’ll get as much done in just one interval training workout as many people will get done with an entire resistance-based training session.

 

Something different – If you get bored of going through the same routine week in and week out, an interval training workout is perfect as it is fun, exciting, and new.

 

So, now that we’ve looked at what is an interval training workout and at why they’re so beneficial, hopefully you’re inspired to alter the way you train the next time you hit the gym? Give it a go, and you’ll be amazed by what a difference it can make.

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