You don't have to work out long to get benefits with interval sports training
INEFFICIENT TRAINING WILL SLOW DOWN PROGRESS
When we do the same workouts over and over again, the body, being the smart machine that it is, comes to expect what you intend to throw at it, so rather than adapting, which usually results in good change, your body, in realizing that it doesn't have to use precious expenditure to adapt, will simply stop responding.
This is what's referred to as a 'plateau' and should be avoided at all costs. Hitting a plateau means much slower progress, and this will hamper your overall effort to get in shape.
Think of your body as a boxer and you as its opponent. If you threw the same punch over and over again your body would soon see it coming every time and it would need to use little effort to cope with this - there would be no stress.
This is the equivalent of doing the same routine all the time. Now if you start throwing different combinations and mixing things up, the body cannot predict what's coming and so is forced to work harder. When you add different techniques into your training to keep your body on its toes, you make the most progress.
The training mentality I want you to embrace is one of 'progress', 'progress', 'progress'. So, here's a brilliant way to train efficiently and keep the progress coming.
INTERVAL SPORTS TRAINING
Interval training - adding periods of mixed intensity into your routine - is an awesome training principle that can be harnessed to shock your body. It's also a great way to significantly cut your training time down and show your body who's boss. Here's how to do it.
Let's say you run outdoors. To apply this principle – during your session, add brief sprints before reducing pace. Gradually seek to improve such factors as –
- The speed you run at
- The distance you sprint before reducing speed
- How many sprints you do in total.
Before long your cardiovascular endurance will increase, and you'll keep burning those calories too.
Now if you really want to take it up a notch and maximize the potential for results, you could try combining cardiovascular training with resistance exercises - in this case your body is the perfect tool.
Prior to your next session, choose a selection of bodyweight exercises, based on ability. When prompted, perform each exercise, giving it your all, then continue your run.
For the first time you do this, try to keep a rough count of reps achieved - next time you'll have a target to beat. As you progress you'll be able to up the reps or move on to more challenging exercises. The possibilities and combinations are near endless - try adding in sprints too.
FACTS ABOUT INTERVAL SPORTS TRAINING
- Most people perform this awesome type of routine for 15 – 30 minutes (think of the time you'll save).
- Interval training burns more calories per time unit than conventional cardio (no more hours of boredom on the treadmill).
- Interval training can cause increased calorie burning for up to 48 hours after finishing the routine (on average it would take an hour of brisk walking to burn the same amount of calories but it wouldn't have the same great effect on your body).
- Interval training can help to prevent injury.
This is one of the many techniques you can incorporate into your training routine in order to keep the progress coming. The combinations of exercises and timing are near endless. Why not give this a try and see what benefits interval training can give to you. Always remember to keep your routines varied - sometimes even changing a little thing can be enough to provoke progress.
THE NEXT STEP
The journey to improved health and well-being starts with a single step. Talking to a health coach can keep you on track.
What step are you taking to get closer to your fitness goals?
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