Are you looking to get fit quickly? Then interval training is your key to success.
Interval training can be described as short periods of work followed by rest. The main aim is to improve speed and cardiovascular fitness. There’s a lot of buzz around the idea of micro-workouts and the notion these could help you reach your fitness goals and save you precious time.
Healthquarters offers a number of classes focusing on interval training including; Monday 6am meet at Willoughby Netball Courts (intermediate level of fitness required) and Monday 7pm meet at Naremburn shops (for beginners).
Magic four minutes
One approach that’s had a lot of publicity involves exercising intensely for just four minutes, three times a week. Some say this is enough to get you fit. Known as 4×4, this form of interval training involves four lots of four minute bursts of high intensity exercise (where you are too breathless to speak more than a few words) broken up by three-minute bursts at a lower intensity (where you are too breathless to sing but can still speak a full sentence).
Alternating between intervals at higher and lower intensities is the best way to get fit as it helps you keep your heart rate higher for longer than if you push yourself hard continuously. Jeff Coombes, professor of exercise science at the University of Queensland, says doing the 4×4 workout three times a week is a highly effective way to boost fitness. (Read more about the research into the health benefits of higher intensity exercise.)
NB. A longer warm-up is recommended to reduce the chance of any kind of cardiovascular complication you might get with a sudden increase in stress on your heart.
One such form of exercise, called supramaximal training, was actively promoted in a British documentary, also broadcast on television in Australia, called The truth about exercise. In supramaximal training, you basically go all out. You go as hard as you possibly can for around 10 to 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds to a minute and then go as hard as you possibly can again. The length of the intervals will depend on your fitness. This type of exercise can be really useful for people short on time and quite fit, who don’t have diseases. But it is likely to be associated with more risk.
If you are thinking of trying this type of training regime, you should read more about when exercise might pose safety risks.
Read More on this topic, click here
Download the documentary ‘The Truth About Exercise’ via SBS on Demand, click here
Posted by Katherine Rothwell