Interval training is not for the beginner. But if you have had a regular walking or running regimen for at least six months then you are probably ready to take your workout to the next level with interval training on the treadmill.
What is interval training?
Interval training on the treadmill is where rather than a 30 minute walk or run at a steady pace, you instead mix up the speeds and incline to keep your body from becoming adjusted or used to the workout. For example; a warm-up period of ten minutes at 3.0 mph, gradually increase the speed setting to 4.5 mph and allow your body to adjust to this speed. Then run for one minute at 4.5 mph, recover for one minute at 3.5 mph, then run for one minute at 5.0 mph, recover for one minute at 3.5 mph, then run for one minute at 5.5 mph, then finally recover for one minute at 3.5 mph.
Continue to increase the speed at each interval and repeat this pattern for 10 to 20 minutes. Then cool down for 10 minutes at 3.0 mph.
Benefits of interval training
With interval training you work more muscle groups and work them harder, you will burn more calories during and after your workout, you will become stronger and faster, you will have a better overall cardio workout and better overall cardiovascular fitness and it will prevent the workout boredom that often comes with repetitive workout programs.
HIIT interval training
High intensity interval training is more advanced interval training for more advanced persons, and will reap even more benefits. You may venture into this realm even if you are less experienced in the workout would, but your numbers will vary from a more advanced workout.
To determine the difficulty of your workout consider the RPE or, rate of perceived exertion scale. 1 is very easy and 10 leaves you so out of breath you are unable to speak and you are noticeably heaving when you inhale. If you are very fit you should go for the highest end of the scale, a 9 or 10, but if you are less experienced then go for around a 6.
After a ten minute warm up cycle lower than the goal cycle, do 5 to 8 cycles of all out effort followed by a recovery cycle. An example of a more advanced cycle would be to run about 12 mph for 30 seconds (hands off of course) then walk easy for two minutes. Repeat this cycle 6 or 7 more times. If this didn”t kick your butt then repeat the cycle but this time do it on a slight incline of ten to fifteen degrees.
If you are not this advanced you can walk instead of run, but walk on an incline of about fifteen degrees. Walk at 3 or 4 mph for a minute or so, them do a cool down stage of a walk without incline at only 2 mph for 2 or 3 minutes then repeat this 5 or 6 more times. The idea is to keep your cardio working at peak for short intervals followed by longer cool down intervals to allow your oxygen levels to get back up. If you deprive your muscles of oxygen you will begin to cramp, so it is very important to do short, intense intervals, followed by a cool down interval.
This style of exercise will not only build your cardio, but will also cause your body to burn fat stores for energy. The end result will be you will not only look better, but you will actually be healthier too. If you are new to exercise you should consult your physician to see if this type of exercise is right for you, and often a trainer will help you maximize your workout routine.