When it comes to losing weight, interval training is an excellent approach which produces great results. However, small changes in your training routine can have big effects, and it is important to maximize your time spent in the gym. What tips and techniques can you utilize to see dramatic weight loss with your interval training efforts? Here is a short list of great ideas, which will enhance your workouts on a day to day basis.
First, if you don’t know what interval training is, it is simply a type of workout, which blends high-intensity exercise with less intense training. These are paired in sets, and the sprint intervals are where you push yourself to the limit. These are usually much shorter in duration, and can be as little as 15 seconds long. An example of a sprint interval is running at full speed for 30 seconds, or doing an uphill climb on a stationary bike for 10 minutes. This is followed by a rest interval, in which you are still working out, just at a much lower level. This allows your body to recover from the load placed upon it during the high-intensity exercise. An example would be jogging after running at full speed. The amount of rest time is determined by your level of fitness, and the less time spent in the rest interval, the more effective your workout will be.
Now that we have a good idea of precisely what interval workouts entail, let’s look at a few tips that will help you get the most benefit from this type of exercise program.
Tip #1: Have a Big Focus!
The first tip to implement in your interval workout is to focus on the largest muscles in the body the most. The reason interval training is such a great workout is because of a technical process called Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption or EPOC for short. This biological mechanism is how your body restores the energy to your muscles after a period of high intensity exercise. Because the larger muscles in your body have larger energy stores to begin with, they require more calories to restore them back to normal levels. When you burn calories, you shed pounds, and that is your goal!
So, instead of spending the bulk of your time working out muscles like your biceps and triceps, focus on the large muscle groups found in the lower body instead. Your quads are a great place to start, and exercises like squats use a tremendous amount of stored energy to accomplish. Therefore, to lose the largest number of pounds, use the biggest muscles in your body!
Tip #2: Stretch Out Your Sprint.
The second tip to take your weight loss efforts with interval training to the next level, is to stretch the time of your sprint intervals to the limit. The intensity of sprint intervals burns a tremendous amount of calories, and it also works to speed up your resting metabolism as well. That means, not only will you be burning more calories during your workout session itself, you’ll also burn more throughout the rest of the day too! Clearly, this approach will help you to lose weight quickly. Also, another key to losing the weight, is to make sure your sprint intervals are at maximum intensity. On a scale of 1 to 10, if you can consistently hit 10 during this phase of your interval workout, you will be well on the way to achieving your weight loss goals.
Tip #3: Shorten Your Intervals.
If you can’t push yourself for much longer at first, don’t despair. A third technique you can use instead, is to shorten the length of all intervals in your routine. Changing from low to high intensity exercise requires a massive shift in your body, and the more times you undergo this process during your workout, the more your body will change. When you constantly draw upon your body’s reserves in the way interval training demands, it begins to reduce its fat production and channel calories into energy for your muscles instead. So, if you can’t lengthen your sprint intervals right away, simply shorten your periods of rest instead.
Tip #4: Eat for Better Workouts!
This next tip may seem counter-intuitive, yet it works well. To enhance the impact of your interval workout, eat a meal before you step into the gym. For many years, it was thought that waiting to eat until after your training was complete burned more fat in the end. The reason for this, is because your insulin spikes when you eat, and this substance keeps your body from shedding fat. Yet, new studies suggest that eating before your workout is better, as a good meal will give you the energy to push your body harder in each set. As is the case with interval training, the higher intensity level you achieve, the more fat you consume. So, though eating preserves fat to some extent, the better quality of your workouts will more than make up for this. As a side benefit, eating before exercising causes you to eat less during the rest of the day, meaning you’ll lose even more weight overall. It is best to eat something that is easy to digest about 30 minutes before your interval workout.
Tip #5: Get the Nutrition You Need.
The fifth tip to get the most out of your interval training has to do with nutrition. If you eat in tandem with the right exercise program, you can effectively double the effect of your weight loss efforts. While it is important to eat before working out, as we saw above, don’t load up your plate with lots of carbohydrates. This is true for the rest of the day as well, as carbohydrate moderation can produce dramatic results when you exercise as well. Also, getting the right minerals and vitamins in you diet is vital, as deficiencies in these will lead to low endurance, and therefore poor interval training sessions. Finally, proper hydration is key, not just while your in the gym. The rule of thumb is, eight to ten glasses of water per day, but you may need more if you are training especially hard. Getting enough water helps your cells to stay healthy, and it will help give you the energy you’ll need to push yourself in the sprint interval portion of your workouts.
There you have the best tips and techniques for getting the most from your interval training. This type of exercise program is one of the best for weight loss you can implement in your life. If you want to shed pounds fast, then incorporating a good interval workout will give you the results which you desire. So why not start your training program today, and you’ll hit your ideal weight before you know it!
David Grisaffi is a Sports Conditioning Coach and holds multiple certifications including three from the prestigious C.H.E.K. Institute: Level II Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiologist, Golf Biomechanic, and Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach. Plus he is also the author of the popular selling e book, “Firm and Flatten Your Abs,” which teaches you how to develop a ripped abdominal region.