3 Interval Workouts for Newbies
Things can be quite daunting if you’re new to the fitness game. For one, you have a bunch of jargon to learn: sets, reps, bench presses – you get the idea. While the lingo is something to pick up, you also have to figure out the environment: like why would someone come to the gym only to talk on their cell phone? Or what’s the deal with that one guy who always seems to need to use the same equipment at the precise moment as you.
But above all else, you’re at the gym to get in shape. Perhaps some of that jargon you’ve heard thrown around is about interval training. It’s all the rage and everyone is talking about it, but you’re not quite sure where to start. After all, isn’t interval training reserved for the chiseled fitness models on the magazine covers scattered all over your fitness center?
First, anyone can do interval training, it just has to be done correctly. Second, intervals work, so everyone should be doing them. Better known as high intensity interval training (or HIIT) these workouts involve breaking up difficult exercise into manageable chunks. Maybe you can’t run a marathon but you can certainly jog for a minute; and it’s in that minute where intervals get to work their magic.
Researchers have used interval workouts with subjects that don’t mimic athletic populations and found great results. In fact, a study was done with obese subjects to show just how powerful intervals are. When subjects followed a protocol to where they performed 12 second sprints on an exercise bike (and only worked out an hour a week) they managed to lose 6 pounds of bodyfat along with a 17% reduction in visceral fat(1). Similar studies have been done with obese subjects with similar results. So we can see that interval training can be tailored to the population.
As a personal trainer, I come across a wide array of clients. For every person who can sprint 100 meters there are two who are just starting to train for the very first time. With this experience, I’ve designed several different intervals for the newbies out there. In one case, a client lost 10 pounds in her first 8 weeks with similar workouts while another lost 8 pounds in six weeks.
Here are three different type of interval workouts that you can use to get started.
- Jogging Intervals – 60 seconds of light jogging/120 seconds of light walking x 8 rounds.
As the weeks go by, you can slowly reduce your recovery time and increase the time spent working.
- Walking Intervals – 180 seconds of heavy walking/60 seconds of light walking x 5 rounds.
The 3 minutes should be challenging to the point where the last minute is pretty tough.
- Rowing Workout – 150 meter row/60 seconds of rest x 8.
The rower is always tough, but 150 meters is a good starting point to someone new to fitness.
Still think interval training isn’t for you? Think again! Pick your workout and get ready to get in shape.
1. Heydari, M., Freud, J., et al. “The Effect of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise on Body Composition of Overweight Young Males.”(2012) Journal of Obesity 10.1155/2012/480467