As an athlete, you are continuously looking for ways to enhance your performance. Whether you’re a runner, a body builder, or a powerful gymnast, interval training has a long list of benefits for athletes of all types. If you want to increase your cardiovascular fitness, get stronger, or gain more muscle, interval training is a natural way to boost your performance without the use of supplements.
What is Interval Training?
Interval training sounds complicated, but it’s quite simple. Interval training is simply alternating intense rounds of exercise with lighter activity intervals. If you’re out for a run, you’ll do short bursts of running at an increased pace before returning to your regular pace. It sounds so simple, so What exactly will interval training do for your fitness?
Better Fat Burning
If you’ve been looking to trim down, 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is more effective at fat burning than 45 minutes of steady activity. You don’t just burn more calories during a HIIT workout, you also burn more calories in the 24 hours after a session. This is because the intense portions of the HIIT send your body into repair overdrive. As a result, your metabolism is bumped up a couple of notches because the human growth hormone (HGH) production is drastically increased.
Increase Your Aerobic Capacity
Short bursts of activity where you’re pushing yourself beyond your aerobic threshold will quickly improve your cardiovascular fitness. You can improve your pace as you run, lift heavier weights because your heart is becoming a fierce machine, or increase your training sessions without too much extra physical stress with just 60 minutes of HIIT every week.
Increase Your Fitness without Increasing Your Training Time
Whether you feel like you’re spending too much time cross-training and not enough time training for your sport, HIIT is a very efficient use of your time. An effective HIIT workout can be completed in less than 30 minutes. You can do a vigorous HIIT workout for just 20 minutes three times a week and see a vast improvement in your endurance, energy, and weight loss.
No Special Equipment Needed
Save your money for your sport of choice; you don’t need any special equipment for an effective HIIT workout. Most HIIT sessions require a good pair of shoes and your body weight. You won’t need expensive weights or resistance bands if you don’t want to buy them. Your body weight is more than enough to strengthen your entire body and boost your metabolism for 24 hours after your session.
Interval training should be a regular addition to every athlete’s cross-training rotation. Not only do you save time, your performance in your sport of choice will noticeably improve in just a few short weeks.