What is the best interval training program? Learn from our forum members about what interval training is, activities & exercises that are vital to its success, who it benefits, and more right here!

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best Interval Training Program?

The Question:

What is the best interval training program? Be specific.

Are shorter or longer training intervals better? Why?

What are some good cardiovascular activities that work well with interval training?

What are the benefits of interval training?

Bonus Question: Do you use interval training and if you have what type of results did you see?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

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      * Honorable Mention
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1st Place - EAGLES56
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Interval Training Program
What Is The Best Interval Training Program? Be Specific.

Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio and dynamic stretching, followed by either:

Anaerobic Interval Training (short distance)

  • 30-60 seconds of maximal intensity
  • 60-180 seconds of rest

Aerobic Interval Training

  • Start off with 8 minute intervals and progress to longer durations. The idea is to have the combined interval times surpass the actual "marathon" duration.
  • Strive for as minimal rest time as possible.

When initially starting interval training, employ low-moderate intensity throughout the training sessions to allow one's body to adapt to this form of training. It is imperative that rest times are composed of extreme low-intensity work to allow for sufficient recovery and maximal output during the next interval.

Insufficient recovery causes lactic acid build up and poor phosphate energy recovery which leads to muscle fatigue. Consume a carbohydrate dense meal post workout to restore depleted glycogen stores.

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Shorter Or Longer
Are Shorter Or Longer Training Intervals Better? Why?

Whether shorter or longer training intervals are better depend on one's goals. To increase maximal output in a short period of time (such as sprinting), one would perform shorter intervals with an extreme intensity and longer rest periods.

Cardio
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Are Shorter Or Longer Training Intervals Better?

To increase peak performance for a long duration (such as endurance training), one would train at a moderate-high intensity for a relatively long interval with short-moderate rest times. A shorter interval focuses on the anaerobic energy system, the longer the exercise duration, the more the body will rely on the aerobic energy system. One must train in a manner which mimics the required intensity level for their sport.


Cardiovacular Activities
What Are Some Good Cardiovascular Activities That Work Well With Interval training?

Interval training is traditionally used in sprinting and long distance running preparation, however, interval training can be performed with multiple types of cardiovascular exercises. Great cardiovascular exercises include:


Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of Interval Training?

Interval training improves one's endurance and aids recovery in sports which require optimal "stop-and-go" performance. One's body will increase it's oxygen usage efficiency. This will occur predominately at the muscular level alongside respiratory system improvement and lactate tolerance.

Another benefit of interval training is the additional fat burning properties than conventional cardio which can be beneficial for keeping off excess body fat while both cutting and bulking.


Bonus Question
Do You Use Interval Training And If You Have What Type Of Results Did You See?

I have used interval training in the past during rugby. Afterwards, I noticed that I was able to function at a higher intensity more frequently for a longer period of time. This greatly improved my game play since rugby is a "stop-and-go" which demands repeated bursts of very high intensity. I highly recommend this form of training to anybody, especially athletes, looking for the aforementioned benefits.

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References:

  1. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/peak2.htm
  2. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cb13.htm
  3. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kurilla1.htm
  4. www.bodybuilding.com/fun/peak2.htm

EAGLES56


Honorable Mention - Zenon


Interval Training Program
What Is The Best Interval Training Program? Be Specific.

To determine the best interval training program you must determine whether or not you're looking to improve your anaerobic or aerobic energy systems -or both. Below are interval programs to increase anaerobic or aerobic energy system effectiveness for sprinters and marathon runners. This program can be adjusted to other cardiovascular exercise as well depending on your sport.

Anaerobic

  • All-Out Sprinting 30-60 seconds
  • Rest 1-3 minutes
  • Repeat 6-8 times

Aerobic

  • 8-12 minutes running at 95% of your VO2 max
  • Rest 1-3 minutes
  • Repeat until added intervals are greater than the actual length of your event/race time.

Frequency: 2x/week. Start off slow and ensure a full recovery between training days.


Shorter Or Longer
Are Shorter Or Longer Training Intervals Better? Why?

Shorter intervals are used during high intensity activity and would benefit sprinters or short distance competitors. Longer intervals are used during moderate intensity activity and would benefit marathon runners. Adjust training intervals to your specific sport requirements.

Cardio
Click Image To Enlarge.
Adjust Training Intervals To Your Specific Sport Requirements.


Cardiovascular
What Are Some Good Cardiovascular Activities That Work Well With Interval Training?

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Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of Interval Training?

The benefits of interval training include:

  • Increased anaerobic and aerobic energy system efficiency
  • Improved endurance
  • Decreased fatigue
  • Increased metabolism
  • Increased fat loss
  • Maximal gains from shorter workouts
  • An extra edge over the competition


Bonus Question
Do You Use Interval Training And If You Have What Type Of Results Did You See?

I have not used interval training yet but I intend to include it into my new routine. I know those who have used interval training in the past who claim it improved their endurance and allowed for a higher sustained intensity during their activities. I highly recommend this type of training to serious athletes.


Honorable Mention - MattyH7688
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Interval Training Program
What Is The Best Interval Training Program? Be Specific.

Interval Training can be extremely effective. A high intensity interval training is often best for burning fat, increasing strength, increasing speed and increasing cardiovascular endurance.

Ideally the cardio session will be split up into three parts:

  1. Warm up
  2. The actual workout
  3. Cool down

The number of sprint intervals solely depends on you and your fitness levels. I would suggest starting small and only doing 3-4 intervals then work your way up. Make sure you give it everything you have on the sprints to benefit from the heart rate jump from the sprinting.


Shorter Or Longer
Are Shorter Or Longer Training Intervals Better? Why?

Unless you are training to be an endurance athlete, shorter intervals would be best. I recommend staying between 15-30 minutes. With interval training your body will be in an Anaerobic mode (same mode as lifting). Though you may not burn as many calories going longer but less intense, your metabolism will be raised much higher throughout the day allowing more calories overall to be burned and allowing better fat oxidation.

Cardio
Click Image To Enlarge.
Shorter Intervals Would Be Best.


Cardiovascular
What Are Some Good Cardiovascular Activities That Work Well With Interval Training?

Your options are limitless here. Some of my favorites are:

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Benefits
What Are The Benefits Of Interval Training?

The benefits are endless with interval training. Fat loss is awesome with intervals. Increasing speed and agility is also key with intervals. Cardiovascular health is also improved quite a bit with interval training.


Bonus Question
Do You Use Interval Training And If You Have What Type Of Results Did You See?

I use interval training several times a week on the treadmill and elliptical. The results have been awesome. Since switching to intervals, the fat comes off much easier and I have found that my body has been in much better shape. My resting pulse has also gone down 15 beats.


What Is The Best Interval Training Program?

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