Speed Intervals | Fitbie
 

Interval Training: Burn Fat Fast

Speed Intervals

Get your heart rate up to get your waist size down with these easy-to-follow interval training plans

Man running up steps

Ed Landrock

Slowing way down and speeding way up again may get you in trouble on the interstate (and in the bedroom), but when it comes to cardiovascular exercise, it's the key for weight loss. I've already explained that speed interval workouts -- workouts that alternate high-intensity levels with lower-intensity effort—help your body burn calories long after you've stopped working out.

You can use interval workouts any way you want—running, cycling, swimming, on elliptical trainers, even walking if you alternate a speed walk and slow walk. To keep your workouts fresh and to keep your body guessing, you can also vary the intensity levels in different combinations.

(If you use exercise machines, don't choose the interval workout; choose the manual one and create your own intensities by adjusting it yourself. It'll give you greater control over the speeds and will help you burn fat faster.)

The best part? You'll derive benefits in as little as a 20-minute interval workout. As you build up endurance and strength, you can add time to your workout, and you can add an extra interval workout per week. But don't do it more than twice a week. You may burn calories, but you'll also burn out.

I'm presenting many options here based on various machines and approaches, but just like in strength-training workouts, you can tailor the principles to concoct your own interval workout. So, for example, the workout on the treadmill may work just as well on a stairclimber. The following programs are preset plans, but they should also give you ideas for ways to build your own high-intensity interval training sessions.


The Great Pyramids Interval
This pyramid structure allows you to start with short bursts of speed, and then you'll peak at the longest surge of energy in the middle of your workout before coming back down.

3 to 5 minutes warmup
30 seconds high intensity
1 minute low intensity
45 seconds high intensity
1 minute low intensity
1 minute high intensity
1 minute low intensity
90 seconds high intensity
1 minute low intensity
1 minute high intensity
1 minute low intensity
45 seconds high intensity
1 minute low intensity
30 seconds high intensity
3 to 5 minutes cooldown

The Minute-Man Interval
The following is a typical interval workout you can use with any cardiovascular exercise. You alternate one period of low intensity with the same period of higher intensity.

3 to 5 minutes warmup (light jog, low intensity, gradually increasing at the end of the warmup period)
1 minute moderate or high intensity followed by 1 minute low intensity (repeat 6 to 8 times)
3 to 5 minutes cooldown (light jog, low intensity, gradually decreasing by the end of the cooldown period)

The All-Star Interval
Sports are as unpredictable as Jon Stewart's mouth. This interval simulates some of that unpredictability by having you doing different times and different intensities. You can mix and match the orders and repetitions as much as you want. Rest longer after the periods in which you use the most energy.

3 to 5 minutes warmup
2 minutes moderate or high intensity followed by 2 minutes low intensity (repeat once)
30 seconds high intensity followed by 30 seconds low intensity (repeat 4 times)
60-yard sprints (or 10 seconds if not running) followed by 90 seconds rest (repeat 6 to 10 times)
3 to 5 minutes cooldown

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