Interval Training: Fast and Slow’s The Way to Go

running-1.jpgThere is nothing I love more than the great feeling of accomplishment (with a side of endorphins) that comes after 45 minutes on the elliptical. Well, maybe sex on cold sheets. Or the guys at Cold Stone who give me a “Gotta Have It” for the price of a “Love It.”

But, still; a good workout makes me feel really, really good. I walk out of the gym with an “I’m so sexy and toned” swagger and really feel like I can accomplish anything. It is almost like I’m high but without the horrible munchies.

But the beefy trainer at the gym recently told me that long workouts may not be the way to go. Interval Training – or mixing up your workout routine – will actually burn more fat and calories while improving your endurance for future workouts.

Interval training is simple: instead of hopping on the treadmill and running at the same pace for an entire episode of The Biggest Loser, interval training forces you to vary your speed and intensity. The ideal program would be to run/bike/swim/work at about 85% of your ability for about 3-4 minutes and then bring it down for 1-2. Then do it again. This gives your heart and body a chance to work hard and then rest for a minute before going again.

This form of training is beneficial to you and your hot bod because it allows you to work at a higher intensity than you typically would. Normally, people will try to workout hard but then get tired before their body benefits. Interval training, though, gets you working hard, but also gives your body a chance to recover so you can continue working your muscles, tissue and heart. This harder workout will burn more calories during the workout and keep them burning after, as well. (And the proof is in the Biggest Loser pudding – Bob and Jillian do this type of training all the time and look at the results!)

So get out there and try it. I am hooked. I mean, the post-45-minute-workout high was good, but the still-burning-calories-while-I’m-sitting-on-my-ass high is even better.

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