We often hear fitness terms when we’re in the gym or are talking about exercise with friends and colleagues, but may not necessarily know what they are talking about. You may have found this with the term interval training. People often throw it into their conversation when talking about their workout and assume that we are all in on the trend. 

We have taken a closer look at what interval training is and how you can try to incorporate it into your exercise routine. 

What is interval training?

Interval training is based around a series of repeated rounds of exercise. These rounds can last for minutes or seconds. Each round will be at a set intensity for that chosen period of time and is then followed by a low intensity recovery interval.

What exercise should I use interval training with?

You can use interval training with most exercises, such as running, swimming, cycling, rowing or aerobics.

Why should I do interval training?

Interval training can help to take your workout to the next level if you are looking to train for an event for example. It can also help to make a boring routine more interesting, helping to improve your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. The muscles of your heart will strengthen with this type of exercise, as new capillaries are built to carry oxygen around the body. You may also find that you have less long term injuries that are often associated with extended periods of exercise and over-training.

How do I start interval training?

There are many ways that you can incorporate interval training into your workout. Here is an example of a typical session on a treadmill that you can use to get started.

  • Warm up with a 5 minute jog at an easy effort level
  • Do your first interval workout which will be to run for 90 seconds at a high effort level
  • Your first recovery interval is next with a 3 minute jog at an easy effort level
  • Repeat the above steps 4 times
  • Cool down with a 5 minute easy walk

As long as you already have a good level of fitness when you begin your interval training routine, you will be able to adapt to it fairly easily.