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Why Do Intervals?

6 Reasons to Try Interval Training

Mixing the speeds of both the tortoise and the hare, interval training is the ultimate fitness mashup — and we love it. You can soup up any cardio workout with intervals; this training technique is not limited to running. There are so many benefits to alternating between speed bursts and recovery periods that you will be motivated to push yourself while you push your speed.

Fight Belly Fat

While cardio exercise is necessary to losing fat all over your body, according to research published in the International Journal of Obesity, interval training targets your waistline. Adding speed bursts can help you lose stubborn abdominal fat, which is a boon for this seasons crops tops and your overall health. If you're a woman, having a waist size over 35 inches puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and some cancers.

Get Faster

The most obvious benefit, but still worth noting, is that interval training will make you faster. Picking up your pace when training with intervals helps to increase your speed, whether you run, bike, or swim. If you're working toward a personal record for an upcoming race, then don't skip your speed work in your training plan.


Up Your Afterburn

Interval training increases the afterburn effect. This means that after an interval workout you burn more calories, even during rest or sleep, than you would after doing a steady-paced workout. Science suggests that to maximize this effect, you should alternate between three minutes of speed and three minutes of recovery, for 30 to 60 minutes — after warming up, of course.

Save Time

No doubt about it — interval training is efficient. Pushing your cardiovascular system by adding intervals means you burn more calories in less time. By alternating between fast and slow, you can work out harder and longer than if you were just pushing your max speed. Efficient intervals mean you can spend less time working out and more time doing things you love.

Go Longer

Even though interval workouts might be shorter than your other workouts, this form of exercise will increase your endurance. Long runs and rides will be easier if interval training is part of your regular exercise routine. Another bonus is that climbing hills will feel easier, too.

Decrease Your Resting Heart Rate

The fewer times your heart beats per minute, the less wear and tear there is on the mechanics of the organ. Interval training makes your heart more efficient, so it pumps more blood with each beat, reducing the number of beats per minute.

Workouts to Try

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Ericka McConnell
couwy couwy 5 years
\u00a0@Susi May Yep! Going to try it outside as I lack a treadmill.
Susi-May Susi-May 5 years
\u00a0@couwy Thanks for pointing that out. It's all fixed! Now, are you going to go for a run? \u00a0
couwy couwy 5 years
The link to the running intervals leads to the swimming intervals page.
Russianbootcamp Russianbootcamp 6 years
I would add reason number 8 to try interval training: it will preserve and build more lean, long muscles in your lower body if you use mostly your lower body for training. Which will translate in burning more calories after interval training and requiring more energy to sustain those muscles later.
SEAtoNYC SEAtoNYC 6 years
I also love intervals. Regularly incorporating them into training me PR in a recent half marathon. P.S. The running intervals hyperlink (under "Got a need for speed?") links to the swimming workout.
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 6 years
I love intervals!! I used to do steady-state cardio every day, but since making the switch to intervals it takes about half the time to complete my workout.
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