Interval training: is it only something for professionals?
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Interval training: is it only something for professionals?

Achieve a lot with little. Interval training has been overlooked for a long time, but it’s one of the most effective workout methods. Because with the right intensity, just 25 minutes can be enough to burn up to 200 calories. Learn here about the different forms of interval training and how you can discover the perfect workout for you.

What is interval training?

In interval training, exercises alternate with rest periods or less intense periods at a slower pace. This way, you’ll do a short but effective workout where you’re constantly active without putting excessive stress on your body.

Low-intensity steady state (LISS):

With this method, you train with a constant amount of effort at a low or moderate intensity. For a workout duration of approximately 60 minutes, your heart rate will remain within a range of 60–80% of your max. heart rate. In doing so, you can exercise several times a week, because your body only needs a short recovery time due to the light form of exertion.
Exercise level: beginner

Low-intensity interval training (LIIT):

This level’s moderate pace makes it possible to focus on coordinating your movements before increasing intensity. Your maximum heart rate should not reach more than 70% of your normal rate. This is already enough to have a positive effect on your circulation.
Exercise level: beginner

High-intensity training (HIT):

With this intense workout challenge, your muscles will be pushed to their maximum performance. These workout sessions are shorter due to their high level of intensity, so as little as five minutes can be enough to have a positive effect. It’s important to have enough time to rest after your workout in order to really improve, however.
Exercise level: advanced

High-intensity interval training (HIIT):

Here, stress and recovery phases alternate. This results in a highly effective workout that burns fat at increased rate – even hours after the workout is finished. During the stress phase you should reach a heart rate of 85–95% of your peak heart rate, and during the recovery phase, 50% of your peak heart rate. Because of the intense exercise incentive, workout breaks are especially important; otherwise, you’ll end up overtraining, causing your performance to stagnate.
Exercise level: advanced

Sprint Interval Training (SIT):

Each sprint interval training session is carried out with maximum effort. Always aim for two continuous reps followed by a short rest – active recovery can be shorter than HIIT.
Exercise level: expert

This is why you can benefit from interval training

The recurring, intense form of exercise stimulates fat burning. Compared to regular endurance training, interval training allows you to burn up to 36% more fat – during and after the workout. Thanks to the combination of exercise and increased cardiac output, you will benefit from what’s called the afterburn effect – that is, your body will continue to burn energy even after you’ve made it back to the couch.
How does that happen? You need more oxygen than necessary during your workout. Your body can’t always provide this supply right away – because the exertion keeps it busy with other bodily functions. You’ll only start getting enough oxygen once you’ve regained your composure. And since every processes in the body require energy, the body continues to consume it throughout the day.
Regarding oxygen: the more often you do interval training, the more your body gets used to it and adapts to the intensity level. To make this possible, oxygen intake and your lung volume improve. The combination of intense and calmer exercise phases is especially helpful, as this alternation is particularly challenging for your stamina.

When should I do interval training?

Basically, you can start interval training at any time. It’s important that you find the right level of exercise for you, and you shouldn’t start out with a level that’s too intense; otherwise, you’ll overexert yourself and your body won’t be able to enjoy all the benefits of interval training.

Can I lose weight with interval training?

Regular interval training can help you lose weight, yes. Because it helps you to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. In addition, your muscles need a lot of energy to regenerate. So, in combination with a healthy, balanced diet, you can be sure you’ll see good results on the scale with interval training.

How long does interval training last?

That depends on the type of training. To achieve the same goal, you should make the less intense workouts longer than the intense ones. While 60 minutes is ideal for LISS, the same effect can be achieved with just 15 minutes of HIIT. But remember: long-term success is more important than immediate success.

This is how interval training works on the bellicon

Listen, you don't have to be afraid of endurance training. It's absolutely perfect for slowly getting into the swing of things, finding your own preferences, and, most importantly, your own pace. With a little discipline, you'll quickly see initial results – not only in your endurance and fitness levels, but also on the bathroom scale and in your muscle definition. Especially in summer, endurance training is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the good weather – and in winter, you can escape from stuffy heated rooms. Either way, we're sure you'll quickly see the benefits for yourself and love interval training as much as we do.