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Benefits of Interval Training

Scott Gray provides advice on the benefits of interval training.

Why should you switch from your traditional cardio workout to reap the benefits of interval training? Is it actually possible to get results without working hard for hours at a time?

Interval training is the ultimate cardiovascular workout. Just by practicing interval training once a week, you will be able to take advantage of a number of benefits, from more effective oxygen intake to a slower heart rate.

If your fitness goal is to lose fat fast, interval training is the only route to take. Interval training is more fun and more effective than your regular old cardio routine. Best of all, interval training makes it possible to get better results in less time, helping you reach your fitness and weight loss goals quickly.

Interval Training is similar to your everyday activities

One of the greatest benefits to interval training is the similarity to regular activities that the average person performs on a daily basis. Most people are not focusing on working at a moderate to high level of intensity for long periods of time through the day.

It is natural to take breaks and rest between activities, especially when such activities are so intense. Interval training is an excellent way to prepare your body for the sudden bursts of stress or activity that everyone experienced from time to time.

Interval Training improves oxygen utilization

The body's ability to make use of oxygen can be greatly improved through the practice of interval training. Oxidative capacity is how much oxygen muscles can use during aerobic exercise. If your muscles are not able to pull the oxygen from the blood stream, then it makes no difference if your lungs are working sufficiently.

The measure of oxidative capacity is known as VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen the muscles are able to take from the blood and use. Studies indicate that interval training significantly increases the ability to use oxygen by as much as 100%.

Interval Training saves time

You do not have to spend countless hours at the gym or running at high speeds for a couple of hours to take advantage of the benefits of interval training. With interval training, you can accomplish in just four minutes the same benefits as you would get from an hour-long run at 65% maximum capacity.

Martin Gibala is the chairperson for the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada where extensive research has been performed on short-burst, or interval training. Along with his colleagues, Martin Gibala published a study a few years ago that found that interval training for one and a half hours each week, including breaks for rest, produced the same results over a six week period as regular endurance training for close to five hours every week.

Interval Training improves the ability to burn fat

The muscle carbohydrate reserves, glycogen, is almost exhausted thorough interval training. It may seem a little backwards to think that improved fat burning is one of the many benefits of interval training because carbohydrates are used as the main source for fuel.

On the contrary, once the glycogen reserves have been exhausted replacement is necessary through the fuel source fat. Hours after you have completed your workout, you will continue to reap the benefits of interval training because your body will use up fat replacing the depleted glycogen.

Interval Training is an excellent way to train for any sport

The ideal way to train for any sport is with interval training. You can train for anything through the benefits of interval training, from a short sprint to a marathon.

Changing how much time you spend resting versus the time you spend working out at maximum capacity will effectively train the various energy systems necessary to dominate your favourite sport.

Interval Training increases human growth hormone production

With interval training, production of the human growth hormone, also known as somatotropin, is increased. Human growth hormone (HGH) is required to repair damage to tissues and build muscle.

Interval training has even been proven to increase the production of human growth hormone in older people. Proper HGH production aids in recovery following your workouts, ensuring you will be ready for your next session.

Interval Training improves heart efficiency

The amount of blood that is pumped throughout the body can be improved in two different ways. First of all, there is the amount of blood expelled by the heart. Secondly, heart rate, which is the rate that the heart pumps blood.

Research shows that fit individuals have a lower than average resting pulse. Interval training makes the heart stronger, making it possible for more blood to be expelled with each pump. This means that your heart will not have to pump as often, thus reducing your resting heart rate.

Interval Training reduces insulin dependency

Essentially, the body uses insulin to transport sugar to cells in the form of glucose to be used as energy. Exercise at a high level of intensity causes the body to produce lactate, which is a good thing.

Lactate is transported to cells much easier than glucose and it does not require any insulin to do so. Lactate is then converted into pyruvate, a major chemical that is used to produce energy quickly. The benefits of interval training positively affect the lives of both diabetics and non-diabetics alike.

Finally

Now that you have all of the information, it is easy to see that benefits of interval training are in great abundance. Interval training is not only a fun way to lose weight, but also a quick way. When you burn fat both during as well as after your workout, as with interval training, your workouts are more effective. A more effective workout will save you time, giving you the awesomely fit body you want in half the time. In addition, your overall fitness level will improve, your stress level will be reduced, your immune system will be stronger and you will be healthier than you ever thought was possible.

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • GRAY, S. (2011) Benefits of Interval Training [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/article074.htm [Accessed

About the Author

Scott Gray is a fitness enthusiast and website publisher. He maintains a health and fitness tips website where you can find information about cardio for weight loss, exercise equipment and tips for getting and staying in shape.

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