Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Burn a lot more fat in a lot less time! This week's workout: interval training.

How can you burn more fat in less time? INTERVAL TRAINING! This is a super popular training method for long-distance runners (known by the Swedish term: fartlek, which means "speed play"), but is a great way for anyone to burn a lot of fat FAST. And we are nothing if not all for saving time AND energy.

Basically, the idea is to work out at levels of HIGH speed and/or intensity interspersed with short intervals of recovery. So you bring the heart rate WAY up, then down a bit, then WAY up again, then down, etc. During the intense interval, you work out at your own personal maximum level. To the point where you could not possibly continue at that level any longer than the interval. You are breathless, anaerobic, etc. Someday I'll rant about my obsession with heart rate monitors. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts are a time when I absolutely adore mine.

Interval training is a great way to boost your metabolism, burn fat, and reach your fitness goals! (Not to mention increase your threshold and VO2 Max). You can read a lot more about interval training here. If you're a cardio finatic, but feel like your workouts are losing their effectiveness, this workout is for you. The length and intensity of each interval can be adjusted to your own fitness level, and PRE (perceived rate of exertion).

Here's one of my favorite kick-my-booty on the treadmill interval workouts. Adjust the speed/incline/interval time to your own level.

0:00-6:00 Warm up, 3.5 mph, 5% incline (RPE: 3-5)
6:00-9:00: RUN! 7.0 mph, 5% incline (RPE: 9-10)
9:00-12:00: Walk 3.5-4.0 mph, 5% incline (RPE: 6-7)
12:00-30:00 Repeat minutes 6:00-12:00 three more times, alternating 3 minutes of sprinting on an incline with 3 minutes of walking on an incline (RPE:9-10 and RPE: 6-7)
30:00-33:00 Cool down, 3.5 mph, 0% (RPE: 3-5)

Music is ESSENTIAL for me during these crazy intervals. Three minutes is a long time to sprint on an incline, so listen to your body, and listen to some heart-pumping music to push you along! This workout can also be transferred to a stair-climber, stationary bike, rowing machine, outdoor running, etc.

Have fun!

Also, if there's anything specific you'd like us to discuss, send us a line at, or as always give us a shout out in the comments!


Diane said...

Since I don't have a treadmill, I figure I can do this outside. My inclines will be a bit longer though! These darn hills around here are gonna kill me! I've been walking since the middle of June now and am finally seeing some results....yay!!!

Diane said...

p.s. Do you remember the lady at the gym in California I told you about who would set the incline really high on the treadmill and then lean back, hang on, and walk. That was the funniest thing I've seen!

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