Female Sprinter

Busy? Try Interval Training Routines for Weight Loss

Having a tight schedule shouldn’t be an excuse for a lack of training. Running a business, meetings, spending time with my wife, staying up on research – one could say I’m a busy dude. But I can’t expect my clients to work harder than me (or else I become the client) so I make sure that I get my four workouts a week in. As a coach, I don’t have clients do anything that I haven’t done. Saying that I’m too tired to workout so I can sit around and watch Saved by the Bell reruns doesn’t exactly fit my clients picture of motivation.

But for those short on time, we have good news.  Research has shown that increasing your metabolism is dependent on exercise intensity rather than duration. Even the mainstream media is starting to catch on to the concept of exercise intensity and in fact, doctors and cardiologists are starting to open their eyes to the benefits of interval training routines.

Interval training promotes the release of hormones in the body that help build muscle and burn body fat. We call this metabolic flexibility – meaning that you want to specify the exact “fuel” the body burns. In the case of interval training, we flip the switch to fat burning mode long after the exercise bout is over.

A research study done with individuals completing 4-30 second all out sprints had similar metabolic responses as subjects who completed a 30 minute cycling workout at 70% of their maximum effort (1).  So this means that 2 minutes of all out exercise was the same as exercising for 30 minutes.  More importantly, the higher intensity group burned more of their energy from fat over the course of 24 hours. Sounds like a good tradeoff to me.

Most of all, you can make intervals relative to you based on your current fitness level. I once worked with a severely obese client. She was eager to train and lose weight, so her interval sessions consisted of 30 seconds of walking along with 1 minute of sitting. We eventually raised her work capacity to the point of nonstop walking for 5 minutes.

Utilizing short, but intense bursts of work coupled with short rest periods is a great way to get in shape.  Your workouts will only be 15 to 20 minutes in length so anyone can fit them in a busy schedule.

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