Interval Training

Functional Aging

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  1. Interval Training


    Dramatic Improvements in a Short Period of Time

    If you want the benefits of long, steady endurance exercise, but lack the time for such workouts, interval training may be a great alternative or addition to your current routine. Intervals or sprints can be done while running, cycling, swimming, or almost any other type of cardiovascular exercise. Sprint training can offer an option for those that don’t have much time for exercise but still want to improve their cardiovascular system. Although this type of training is demanding and requires a high level of motivation, it can lead to dramatic improvements in a short period of time.

    Evidence shows that short, high-intensity sprint workouts improve aerobic capacity and endurance in about half the time of traditional endurance exercise.

    Recent studies of sprint training with cyclists showed greater cardiovascular results in less time. In fact, one study found that just six sessions of four to seven all-out thirty-second sprints (with four minutes of recovery between sprints) could be as effective at improving cardiovascular fitness as an hour of daily moderate-level aerobic exercise.

    It’s always a good idea to vary your routine every few months. This type of workout is intense, and you may need to take a break and perform some long slow workouts for a while. Try it, you may find that you like it!

    · How Often?

    Perform sprint workout routines three times a week with plenty of rest between workouts. Because of the intensity of these workouts, most athletes shouldn’t do sprint work more than three times a week.

    · Warm up.

    Before sprints, warm up thoroughly with easy exercise for 5-10 minutes. Perform the same exercise you will be using for your sprints.

    · Sprint.

    Perform your first sprint at about 60 percent max intensity. If you feel any muscle tightness or joint pain, back off and continue to warm up.

    · Recover.

    Recover for 2 minutes by slowing to a comfortable pace, but keep moving. This can be an easy jog or a walk, depending upon your fitness.

    · Sprint.

    Perform your next sprint at about 80 percent max intensity.

    · Recover.

    Recover for 2 minutes.

    · Sprint.

    Perform the remainder of your sprints at 100 percent max intensity or all-out efforts of 30 seconds. You should be pushing yourself to the max for each one.

    · Recover.

    Recover for 2 to 4 minutes after each sprint to allow your breathing and heart rate to slow to the point that you can hold a conversation without gasping.

    · Repeat.

    Repeat the sprint/recovery routine 4-8 times depending upon your level and ability. For your first workout, you will want to stop at 4 sprints. That’s fine. Try to build up to 8.

    · Workout Goal.

    The goal is to do this work out six times in two weeks and then back off to twice a week for maintenance for six to eight weeks before you change your workout.

    · Rest and Recovery.

    Allow at least one to two days of rest or other easy exercises between sprint workouts.


    Kirsten A. Burgomaster, Scott C. Hughes, George J. F. Heigenhauser, Suzanne N. Bradwell, and Martin J. Gibala. Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology, February 10, 2005;

    Burgomaster KA, Heigenhauser GJ, Gibala MJ. Effect of Short-Term Sprint Interval Training on Human Skeletal Muscle Carbohydrate Metabolism During Exercise and Time Trial Performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, February 2006.

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Your Personal Best Training Studio
Doddridge Plaza
3765 S. Alameda, Ste 102
Corpus Christi, TX 78411
(361) 857-5087