This is one of those blog posts that can get some author in trouble if they don’t ask their readers to read some kind of medical disclaimer before publishing it, so I am asking you, “Please! Before you read another word, check out my medical disclaimer: — ( CLICK HERE ).
Now that we have that little legal requirement out of the way we can go ahead with our article on the advantages of “Interval Training” for our workouts at the gym or wherever.
In the old days I struggled at the gym for perhaps two to four hours and wrestled with a whole bunch of repetitions of exercises at different weights, durations and intensities and I got some pretty spectacular results for myself after a couple of years.
But more recently, the “Experts” — (I do not like the word, “Experts” but sometimes they do make sense …. not all the time ….. but sometimes ….. and I think this thinking about favoring “Intensity” over “Duration” has a lot of value — especially for somebody like myself who is fighting some of the effects of growing older while still trying too maintain a profile at the exercise efforts.
“And what is this “Interval Training” you are talking about here, John?”
Let’s see if I can explain it so that anybody could understand it — the way I understand it anyway — the way I have been working it:
Suppose I had been used to spending 30 minutes at a stretch on an elliptical machine, for example at a pre-set intensity on the elliptical machine’s regulator of some arbitrary number such as 7 or 8.
And let us suppose that my routine was to run through that 30 minute period without stopping or slowing down until I had reached the end of the alloted time period.
That accounts for the old fashioned way of doing it.
Now let us suppose that I mount the elliptical machine and I know that I am capable of handling a pre-set tension on the machine more in the range of 16 to 18 but for shorter periods of continuous time.
So what I am going to do to engage in “Interval” training is to pre-set the machine to the 16 level, hop on and work as hard as I comfortable can (Keeping a close eye on my heart rate and blood pressure to make sure that neither one of those exceeds the limits my doctor has placed on me) — and work for 5 minutes and then stop and take a rest for 5 minutes.
That’s one way of “Interval” working.
The more convenient way is to set the machine itself for an “Interval” workout and most modern machines do have such settings. It means that you will be alternating between periods of heavier effort and lighter effort throughout the period of the exercise. It is the alternating that makes the workout into what we call “Interval Training.”
Suppose we are not working in a gym on some machine. Suppose we are outside in our running shoes where we would normally jog for a mile at a set pace.
For “Interval Training” what we do is we jog for 5 or 6 minutes and then we stop jogging and walk pretty fast for 5 or 6 minutes and then we start jogging again and then we stop jogging again and walk for another few minutes. This too, is a form of interval training.
Why would anyone even consider changing their exercise routine to “Intervals” instead of the old fashioned continuous non-stop workout?
Well, if your doctor has approved this kind of activity for you, you might also find out somewhere along the way that some physical fitness experts think that Interval Training has as good or even better cardiovascular benefits than ordinary exercising provides. Don’t ask me how that works. Don’e even ask me “If” it works because I am no expert, but I can testify that it works for me and it isn’t as hard on my body that is getting older now.
Here is some more information that I think is great about this subject and there is a lot more online if you want to look for it. — ( CLICK HERE.)
And here is some more: — ( CLICK HERE).
Since I first started playing with the idea of Interval Training, I have been able to decrease the wear and tear on my body by reducing my normal exercise time from an hour and then to 30 minutes and most recently to 10 minutes and I haven’t noticed any changes at all in my results except that they remain about the same at the new 10-minute level as they ever did during the other levels. In other words, I am doing less work time-wise and getting the same or better results with less time spent in the various activities.
Will it work for you?
I haven’t a clue but if your doctor and you decide you can try it for yourself then you can find out and make your own determinations. I am just talking about it here on the blog because it has worked for me and because I want the blog to provide some added value to the lives of my wonderful reading audience.