An Effective Way to Shed Some of Those Holiday Pounds
Circuit and interval training, an excellent way to burn calories fast!! Here’s how and why:
What is Interval Training?
Interval training involves alternating short, fast bursts of intensive exercise with slow, easy activity.
How Interval Training Works
Interval training works both the aerobic and the anaerobic system. During the high intensity effort, the anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles (glycogen) for short bursts of activity. Anaerobic metabolism works without oxygen. The by-product is lactic acid, which is related to the burning sensation felt in the muscles during high intensity efforts. During the high intensity interval, lactic acid builds and the athlete enters oxygen debt. During the recovery phase the heart and lungs work together to “pay back” this oxygen debt and break down the lactic acid. It is in this phase that the aerobic system is in control, using oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy.
The Benefits of Interval Training
Interval training leads to the adaptation response. This means the body begins to build new capillaries, and is better able to take in and deliver oxygen to the working muscles. Muscles develop a higher tolerance to the build-up of lactate, and the heart muscle is strengthened. These changes result in improved performance particularly within the cardiovascular system.
Interval training also helps prevent the injuries often associated with repetitive endurance exercise, and they allow you to increase your training intensity without over training or burn-out. In this way, adding intervals to your workout routine is a good way to cross train.
- Time efficient way to improve body composition, maintain lean muscle mass and improve cardio vascular fitness
- When starting a fitness training program traditional cardio training is effective. However after a while the body begins to adapt and fat loss plateaus. This is a good time to begin interval training to continue to achieve results.
- You may burn more calories doing longer periods of cardio training, but you will burn more fat doing interval training
- High intensity interval training is more effective at improving both aerobic and anaerobic fitness than traditional cardio training
- Interval training will result in a greater loss of subcutaneous adipose fat- the dangerous fat around the mid-section
- Your body will continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after interval training
Circuit training can be versatile and it moves quickly because you’re going from one exercise to another instead of doing continuous cardio or straight set training with weights. You can do all strength circuits, all cardio circuits or a mixture of the two for a challenging, calorie-burning workout.
How It Works
Circuit training combines 8-10 exercises that are completed one right after the other, with little or no rest in between. Perform each exercise for a specified time (like 1 minute), rest for no more than 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Once you complete all exercises, that is considered one circuit. The total number of circuits you complete is up to you. For beginners, start with 30 seconds per exercise and increase the time as you get stronger. Another way to progress is to shorten your rest in between exercises and circuits.
To start, use the following criteria for choosing your exercises:
1. Pick exercises to work each muscle group.
2. Include exercises for agility and endurance (like jumping side-to-side over a phone book)
3. Don’t forget to work on your speed too. Incorporate sprints (if you can) or fast jogging in place.
Circuit training is great for beginners just getting started. Why? Because it allows you to build some total body strength while also working on your endurance. This can be great for a number of sports as long as you perform exercises specifically for what you want to accomplish.
Regardless of your goals, circuit training can be a great workout simply because of the variety. Running on a treadmill for 30 minutes or doing the same old machines can get boring over time. If you find you’re losing interest in your routine or that you’ve hit a plateau, think circuit training.