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What is Interval Training?
Interval training is a staple for the success of any athletic performance workout plan and it serves as the base for most of the weight loss workout programs. Interval training (sometimes called HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training) is simply a training routine in which shorter periods of high intensity workout programs are alternated with longer periods of low intensity workout programs. One of the great things regarding interval training is that you can perform tremendous aerobic exercises and that too without the boredom of enduring extended steady bouts of workout routines. In other words, with interval training, you can easily amplify and reduce the workout program’s intensity between aerobic routines and anaerobic workout routines.
Interval training falls under any of the two different categories such as the Fitness Interval Training and the Performance Interval Training. The fitness interval training programs are designed for beginners and intermediate athletes while the performance interval programs are recommended for advanced and conditioned athletes. Mentioned below are some of the most commonly performed interval training workout exercises.
Jumping rope workouts: This is perhaps the most economic as well as easiest way to improve your overall fitness, as it helps to shed off unwanted calories and enhance your agility and muscular strength.
Explosive workout training: It involves workouts in the form of jumping and sprinting, and is especially suitable for athletes who want to perform quick burst of maximum exercises within a minimum period of time.
Shuttle Run: It serves as agility and speed drills for players engaged in playing sports like basket ball, hockey, soccer, and tennis.
Agility drills: Working out this interval technique helps to enhance the overall sport skills of athletes. More agility drills here.
Stair jumping: This is most perfect for advanced athletes, as it improves their power and speed, in addition to cardiovascular fitness.
Squat jumps: This is primarily designed to build the power and strength of an athlete in order to perfect his vertical, long, and box jumps.
Elliptical or treadmill interval training
Both elliptical and treadmill are popular exercise machines, with its own benefits and specialties. For instance, one of the prime benefits of treadmill interval training is that it involves the performance of two effective yet simple exercises in the form of walking and running. Further, since it is complete with options to work-out a number of challenging exercises, it enables you to help stimulate your exercising levels. On the other hand, elliptical trainers are most suitable to perform low-impact workout programs, and they primarily focuses on working your back, biceps, chest, legs, triceps, and shoulders.
Benefits of interval training
Listed below are the potential benefits of interval training, among many others.
Enhanced aerobic power
Improved agility and speed
Enhanced cardiovascular fitness
Improved nervous and respiratory system fitness
Increased time efficiency
Increased endurance level
Helps to shed off more calories
Lower cholesterol levels
Decreases the risk of the onset of cardiovascular diseases
Decreases the high blood pressure
Strengthen the immune system
Prevention of injuries
Get younger and stronger
Interval training and weight loss
Recent research has been shown that interval not only helps to burn your surplus weight faster than long slow distance training but also helps to enhance your overall fitness level.
What is the difference between Fartlek training and interval training?
As mentioned earlier, interval training programs are exercise routines that have been developed to help you to keep active as well as fit for your lifestyle requirements. A discussion on interval training will be perhaps incomplete without referring to Fartlek training.
The major difference between Fartlek training and interval training is that Fartlek training has ‘random time intervals’ where interval training is a set amount of time for rest and high intensity.
Literally meaning “Speed Play” in Swedish, Fartlek training is a category of interval training in which all types of intervals are wrapped into one workout program. Majority of Fartlek training programs last for not more than 45 minutes and includes a variety of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, from walking and running to sprinting.