Why should I do interval training?

Every week there seems to be a new fitness trend – put your hand up if you’ve heard of hot yoga, Crossfit, hydro spinning/aqua spinning (really!), Zumba, Boowiaka, Body this that and the other, chi ball, step, etc etc.  The range of workouts and classes you can choose from at most gyms is immense.  It can be very confusing for those people who are new to exercise, even those who are regulars – what should I pick, should I just go in the gym on the treadmill and bike?

 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a training system that’s gained popularity in the last year and has become a favourite of many trainers and their clients.  HIIT is based on short blasts of exercises with short periods of recovery – the theory behind it is that by having these short sharp blasts (most HIIT sessions will last no longer than 20-25 minutes) you disturb your metabolism, giving it a spike and keep burning calories for longer.

 

I teach and workout to Metafit which is a HIIT workout using big range of movement  and the major muscle groups functionally burning more calories in a shorter space of time and increasing the fat burn potential through EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) or also known as the after burn effect.

 

Interval training is not endurance training – going on the treadmill for an hour at a steady state. It’s putting in your absolute maximum effort for short bursts of time.  If you’re not worn out after 30 minutes you’ve not worked at your maximum.  It’s not about pacing yourself in the “fat burn” zone, but pushing yourself to your failure level.  You can easily incorporate this on a treadmill by warming up for 5 minutes then short bursts of 30 seconds work followed by 30 seconds recovery.

 

Sounds hard?  It is, but it’s your level of hard, not mine or the person standing on the mat next to you.  A good trainer will always take you to a level you can complete, which means the fittest person and the least fit person can safely take part.

 

I believe that Metafit was essential to my weight loss efforts – I regularly did Metafit and still do and any time I think I can’t be bothered, I take out Spartan Matrix and tell myself “It’s only 16.5 minutes long, I can do this” and bish, bosh, bang, I’m done and feel great knowing I’d incorporated some great exercise into my day.

 

Writing this in December, it’s also brilliant at this time of year.  Who wants to spend hours on the treadmill or cross trainer if you can spend 30 minutes doing a more effective workout.

 

Even better, how about a 30 minute workout in the comfort of your own home?  Incorporate some big moves – lunges, squats, press ups, burpees, star jumps, high knees (running on the spot), to your own timer – 30 seconds work 30 rest.  And would you believe it if I told you that you could commit 3 x 30 minutes a week and get some great results!

 

Interval training may not be for everyone, depending on what their fitness and nutrition goals are, but it’s a hugely effective and time efficient way to work out.  I know for sure I’d rather do 20 minutes of Metafit than plug away at the cross-trainer for an hour.  Some of my clients say to me “I swim x amount and thought I was fit” or “I run for y miles but I sweat more doing interval training” that’s because it is challenging (and fun).  That’s because it’s a different type of exercise (HIIT as opposed to endurance) and therefore will challenge your body in a different way.

 

For weight loss, I  can highly recommend interval training and some weight bearing exercise but more on that later!

 

If you’d like to know more about my 12 week transformation programme email me on lisa@lasfitnesshastings.co.uk or PM me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lisa.ali.520