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Friday Fitness: Interval Workout

Whether you’re strength training, walking, or climbing stairs, the “burning pain” may occasionally hinder your body and mind from continuing your workout.  Interval training, a combination of alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity, can help to eliminate the “burning pain”.  Did you know that during intense exercise muscles produce waste products?  These waste products, a.k.a. lactic acid, contribute to muscle soreness and can make exercise painful and exhausting.  But, do not fret. Interval training can help reduce the buildup of waste products in your muscles.  This specific training sort literally trains your body to clear the lactic acid more efficiently.

How:

Interval training works both the aerobic and the anaerobic system.  During the high intensity effort bursts, the anaerobic system uses the energy stored in the muscles, a.k.a. glycogen.  Thus, glycogen is used for the short bursts of activity.  Be mindful that the anaerobic metabolism works without oxygen and the by-product is lactic acid. During the high intensity interval, lactic acid builds and oxygen debt is experienced hence the burning sensation felt in the muscles during those high intensity efforts.  During the recovery or low intensity phase, the heart and lungs work together to repay this oxygen debt and break down the lactic acid.

Interval training not only aids in lactic acid breakdown.  IT helps to increase variety, stamina and as well as adds an additonal challenge to any workout.  IT also great reduces training time.  Let’s face it… the less time, pain, and boredom you have to commit to for exercise purposes the more likely you are to adhere!

Sample Interval:

Interval Variation I: (Standard)

  • 5 minute warm-up (light jog, low intensity, gradually increasing at the end of the warm-up period)
  • 1 minute moderate or high intensity followed by 2 minute low intensity…(Repeat for 30-45min)
  • 5 minute cool down (light jog, low intensity, gradually decreasing by the end of the cool-down period)

 

Interval Variation II: (Pyramid)

  • 3 – 5 minutes warm-up
  • 30 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity
  • 45 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity
  • 60 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity
  • 90 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity
  • 60 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity
  • 45 seconds high intensity, 1 minute low intensity
  • 30 seconds high intensity
  • 3 – 5 minutes cool-down

 

Don’t forget – you can find all of your favorite H3 Fitness classes, located in the FITNESS section of this website. 

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