What is interval training? Interval training is a method of exercise where you intersperse high-intensity work efforts (drills) with periods of recovery.
It works both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. During the high-intensity work efforts, the anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles (glycogen) as fuel. Anaerobic metabolism works without oxygen, creating lactic acid as a by-product. During the recovery or rest periods, the heart and lungs work together to “return” this oxygen debt and work to break down the lactic acid. The aerobic system uses oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy.
My favorite interval training program
Beachbody’s INSANITY program is my favorite program of this type…SO EFFECTIVE!! Instead of working out moderately with short bursts of intensity, INSANITY features longer periods of high-intensity exercise punctuated with short periods of recovery. Unique to INSANITY, this type of training is called MAX Interval Training. MAX Interval Training uses explosive cardio and plyometric drills and nonstop intervals of cardiovascular strength and power for the ultimate conditioning program.
BENEFITS OF INTERVAL TRAINING Adaptation Response Your body begins to adapt to changes during exercise. Because of the varied stress from interval training, your body starts producing more capillaries. These increased capillaries allow more blood to flow through the muscles and parts of your body with less effort. How does this benefit you? You develop the capacity to work harder for longer and recover faster, resulting in cardiovascular fitness gains. Once your body adapts to that new level of fitness, you want to challenge it further to adapt to a new level, so that you don’t get stuck in a fitness plateau.
Cross-Training Benefits By exercising your muscles in a MAX Interval Training program, you’ll put them through a series of tests, which cause them to build up in strength and firmness, rendering them less prone to injury. These changes result in improved performance, particularly with the cardiovascular system.
Calorie Burning More calories are burned in high-intensity, shorter-duration intervals than in moderate-intensity, steady-state training. You may be working harder, but you are also working smarter.
Building Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity Interval training is a highly effective way to improve aerobic and anaerobic capacities by greatly improving the strength of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. This is your ability to take in oxygen and deliver it to the working muscles with greater efficiency.