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View Full Version : Interval Training - as effective as they say?


Darsa
05-19-2010, 08:15 AM
So I've been looking at Interval Training as something I could actually do, and all of the research I've been looking at has looked more like those "weight loss pills" ads, saying how amazingly effective it is, fast weight loss, lose belly fat, etc etc... Can anyone who's actually DOING interval training actually verify this? And please, if all you're going to say is "google it", please know that I *have* googled it, and that's where I'm getting the propaganda-sounding articles. :goodvibes

Thanks! :thumbsup2

FireDancer
05-19-2010, 09:02 AM
I think it is. Interval training is the gym equivalent of speed work at the track. It boosts the metabolism and incorporates a lot of different muscle groups and motions into a shorter window.

Think of how weight training both builds muscle and burns calories. When you lift weights (or use bands) you are not only burning calories trough work but you are making small micro-tears in the muscles. When you are done with the weight training the work part of the equation stops. The body, however, now has to repair all of that damage which is what actually makes the muscle stronger.

Because interval training usually hits all of the major muscle groups the body doesn't just have to repair the few targeted muscles in a standard leg day/arm day/ chest and back day ind of way, it has to repair all of them.

This is why in many cases you will actually burn more calories doing resistance training as opposed to cardio training as counter intuitive as that is.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the body strives for efficiency. If you continuously do the same motion over and over the body adapts and can do that same motion, with the same amount of resistance, more efficiently. When that means running longer on cardio day or chasing down the wooly mammoth with less effort that is good. When it means burning less calories for the same amount of work that is not good if you are striving for weight loss.

That is why when people go to the gym and do the same routine for 6 months with the same weights they plateau. Interval training takes care of some of that inertia but something else you can do is vary the routine. That means going left to right on the machines one day and right to left another. It also means lowering the weights and doing a few more reps on day and raising the weights and doing a few less another. You can alternate using different combinations of these 4 variants and get more out of the workout.

Good luck.

APrunner
05-20-2010, 05:35 AM
I agree, it is effective. I started interval training last fall with the goal of getting faster. Losing weight was sort of an unintended consequence. I am not out to lose weight right now. To answer your question, it does work. Several reasons are given above.

When I first started doing it though, I hated it. Basically, it was hard work. Now I actually look forward to it. Probably because it is the one workout that does me the most good. I do intervals once a week.

cheerful chickadee
05-20-2010, 03:42 PM
It is effective, FireDancer stated the reasons, there are also many sites out there (not advertisements) that explain HIIT or interval training and why it's more effective, they do make you weed through to find the accurate info.

I just recently started doing interval. I used to speed walk/jog on the treadmill for one hour at about the same speed, nothing too fast because I have back issues and can't "run" fast. I would enter my weight and other info and the readouts would say I completed 3 miles, burned 380 cals, 120 grams of fat. When I do interval --which isn't as vigorous as some people's interval but as I get stronger I may get faster... I speed walk @3.5mph for 5 minutes and then run @ 4.8 for 5 minutes and alternate back and forth for an hour. My read out now says I did 4-5 miles, burned 600 calories and 200 grams of fat. I know those stats may not be 100% accurate from the machine itself but I'm going with it.

I found it rough at first because I am not a runner and had to really dig to get to that faster pace but now when I do an hour at one speed...I'm bored to tears!! Interval has been contributing to my 1 - 2lb weight loss each week. I basically struggle through the 5 minute runs though, it is rough, knowing that I get to go slower in a few minutes keeps me going honestly lol. During my slower pace I use my ipod touch to go on facebook, drink some water, wipe sweat and prepare for the next interval. The first week I tried it I just did it 2 days and saw a 3.5lb weight loss that week.

VernRDH
05-20-2010, 06:43 PM
Interval training while running/walking can be very beneficial. First, it is something different, not the same old, same old workout. It will translate into more weight loss since it is more intense exercise, even if it is for short periods of time.

I have been using interval training once a week for the last 6 weeks. I have seen my weight go down and my speed for regular runs go up.

It works!!

Sweetpeamd
06-08-2010, 03:13 PM
For a treadmill user, which would be more effective for weight loss, walking alternating with running or walking at various inclines? Would it be good to do both on different days to mix things up? Which (inclines or speed intervals) is more likely to cause injury?
Thanks for your input

APrunner
06-09-2010, 06:01 AM
There are benefits to both. I vote in favor of mixing it up.

In terms of injuries, just make sure your changes are gradual, don't do too much too soon, and you will be fine. I do not know that one is more likely to lead to an injury than the other.

Kimberly
06-18-2010, 02:36 PM
I agree, it is effective. I started interval training last fall with the goal of getting faster. Losing weight was sort of an unintended consequence. I am not out to lose weight right now. To answer your question, it does work. Several reasons are given above.

When I first started doing it though, I hated it. Basically, it was hard work. Now I actually look forward to it. Probably because it is the one workout that does me the most good. I do intervals once a week.

Interval, or burst training is really to get faster. My brother started working out with me when he came to visit for 3 weeks, and ended up losing a bit of weight on his vacation just due to copying my workout.

I just do it because I like the rush you get from it. It is a ton of work, but feels so good when you're done with it. :thumbsup2