Many people wrongly believe that the best way to lose weight is through long training sessions of very low intensity. That idea derives from the studies carried out in Scandinavia in the 1960s that showed the human body uses more fat as fuel if you are doing low-intensity workouts rather than high-intensity ones.

Some people misinterpreted these results and concluded that low-intensity training is better for fat burn. However, that is incorrect! Your body is burning fat when you burn more calories than you consume. And you will burn more calories if you do high-intensity training or even better interval training.

Your body doesn’t burn fat by itself. Fat burn goes together with the metabolism of carbs and protein. Even if you burn more fat during the workout total, fuel supply goes back to balance according to energy ratio-consumed calories as opposed to burnt ones.

High intensity-training allows you to burn more calories and fat even after the training itself. So if you want to get rid of the fat, train harder and try to burn as many calories as you can.

woman exercising on a stationary bike

What Is Interval Training?

If you are training to lose weight, you should include interval training into your program. Interval training is the training in which the high-intensity training intervals switch with low-intensity training intervals or periods of rest.

Let’s say, for example, that your current training program consists of a 45-minute long spinning class during which your pulse is about 75-80% of the maximum pulse. If you implement shorter periods of high-intensity (about 80-100% of the maximum pulse), you will do a better job and spend more calories in the same period.

You will also speed up your metabolism so you will continue burning calories even after your workout. You can use interval training in any cardio exercises, including a treadmill, stepper, static bike, and swimming.

Interval training also increases the strength in your leg muscles, and stronger muscles allow us to do exercises easier and lead to better endurance. Your lower body muscles get stronger much faster with interval training than with any other type of training. Intervals are great when you want to save time as well.

When you know you have to run or ride a bike to reduce fat, but you can’t seem to come to terms that you will have to stare at the wall in front of you for half an hour, or you simply don’t have enough time.

That’s where interval training is very useful! During the interval training, not only do you have to run faster, but that kind of training influences the enzymes of cells that increase the consumption of fuel during the training and after it.

If you implement high-intensity training into your workout, you will benefit more in less time, and the additional gain is that metabolism speeds up during that kind of training. Your body continues to burn calories throughout the day.

woman doing a lunge outside

Components And Results

Interval training consists of repeating the exercises after an exact period. This type of training helps the body to move at higher speed by training the nervous system to react faster, increasing the hearts ability to pump blood and helping the cells to cope with your accelerated metabolism,

There are four components in interval training, and those are distance, repetitions, intensity, and rest.

Distance is either the mileage or the time taken to do one interval of the exercise. Repetition stands for the number of times you have done the exercise.  Intensity is the speed at which you perform the exercise, and rest is the time that you use between exercises.

All of these factors of interval training are connected. If you are doing high-intensity workouts, you will do fewer repetitions and have a longer rest period.

For example, if you run 400m, you will be able to run 4 to 6 times at the speed of 100% of the maximum speed. But, if you run with 75% of the maximum speed, you will be able to do 8 to 15 repetitions.

Do not do interval training more than three times a week. They are exhausting and can easily lead to injury, Let your body to tell you how many of these trainings you need. If you get too tired when you do interval training three times a week, reduce the number to once or twice a week. Also, if you feel good while doing them, you can do it with higher intensity.

Make sure to start slow and to be careful. You should not get yourself so tired after intervals that you can not function normally for the rest of the day.

fit woman running on a treadmill in front of the window

Intervals On A Treadmill

A treadmill is the best machine for burning calories and fat. Interval training on a treadmill is a combination of fast running, slow running, and walking. You can also control the intensity of the training by changing the angle of the inclination on the machine.

Or you can use built-in programs if they are available since they automatically change the speed and the inclination angle. When it comes to walking, start with a fast walk that is not too demanding.

For example, set the speed to 3mph and the inclination to 0% and walk like that for the entire minute. Then raise the inclination to 10% and walk another minute. Put it back to 0% and walk one more minute. Continue doing so until 10 minutes pass.

As you get in shape, increase either the duration of intervals or the inclination or the speed. With running on the treadmill, you should apply the same rules as with walking. Run fast from 30-60 seconds, then rest or walk.

For example, set the speed to 7 miles an hour and the inclination angle to 0% and run for 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat it from 5-7 times. When you’ve adjusted to the workout, increase the speed, or simply decrease the rest period.

Intervals on A Stepper

People love steppers or elliptical trainers because they allow you to burn fat and at the same time, increase muscle strength. However, it is so easy to cheat on a stepper. For example, if you are leaning too much on the hand-holders, you are diminishing the potential of the machine when it comes to calorie burn.

When you are training on a stepper, do not make small steps. Studies show that making larger movements on a stepper leads to bigger calorie burn and activates glutes and quadriceps muscles better.

If you are leaning on the hand bar while you are training not only that you will burn fewer calories, there is also a high risk of a back injury.

Intervals on a stepper are basically in the increase of resistance. For example, set the resistance on a low level and do 50-60 steps in a minute. Then combine a minute of 80-90 steps with a minute of 50-60 steps. Start with five repetitions and increase their number as you get in shape.

Interval Training In other Activities

You can do interval training in almost any sort of sport. If you play tennis, you can bounce the ball of the wall for a couple of minutes and then rest for a minute and so on. If you are playing basketball, you can circle the court four times, having to dunk the ball each time you go past the hoops, then rest and repeat all several times.

All in all, interval training is a perfect way to get rid of unwanted fat and body weight and get in shape!