Interval Training

If you want to burn more energy without increasing the amount of time you exercise, then try interval training.

Interval training is simply alternating short bursts of high intense activity with intervals of lighter activity (or active recovery). The advantages of interval training are that it works the body’s aerobic and anaerobic energy-producing systems.

The aerobic system allows you to exercise for long periods using oxygen to convert carbohydrates and fats into energy. While the anaerobic system draws energy from carbohydrates (in the form of glycogen) stored in the muscles for short bursts of activity (such as sprinting). One of the by-products of the anaerobic system is lactic acid.

Interval training has these benefits:

  • Your body adapts very quickly and interval training can lead to many physiological changes including an improvement in cardiovascular efficiency (delivering more oxygen to the working muscles) and increased tolerance to the build-up of lactic acid. These changes result in improved performance, greater speed and endurance.
  • You’ll burn more calories. The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you’ll burn — even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time.
  • You’ll keep boredom at bay. Turning up your intensity in short intervals can add variety to your exercise routine.

Interval training workouts can be sophisticated or casual. In the most basic form you can simply walk for a certain time or distance and then run for a certain time or distance. For example, you can walk for 2 minutes, jog for 2 minutes and alternating this pattern for the rest of the workout. Or you can count 5 telegraph poles while you’re walking, then run past 5 telegraph poles and so on.



Andrew is the owner and principal trainer of Health Jigsaw. He is a highly sought-after trainer and has been a personal trainer since 1997. Andrew has previously worked in a five-star luxury resort, large fitness centres and an exclusive personal training studio.

You may also like...