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Interval Training Part 2

September 12, 2011 by Marc Faktor, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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In my previous blog, I introduced interval training. The purpose of this post is to show you what a generalized interval training routine looks like.

Note: Interval training can span across a variety of exercise/activities and sport specific drills (e.g. walking, jogging, sprinting, rowing, biking, elliptical training and swimming etc).

General Procedure:

1.  Warm up for five minutes at a light intensity (e.g. slow walk or bike, etc.).

2.  Perform a dynamic stretch routine. Here is a runners example or contact PAL for more info.

3.  First interval

  • Increase the intensity by increasing speed, incline or resistance (Treadmill example: speed increase from 3.0 - 5.5).
  • Go for 15-45 seconds. Select an intensity so the last ten seconds are challenging.

4. 1st Recovery

  • Decrease your intensity to a calm relaxed pace.
  • Continue at this pace until your heart rate decreases and you've caught your breath: 2-3 minutes is usually a good time to recover if you’re just starting out. If you’re still gassed after 3 minutes, wait until you have energy for the next interval.

5. 2nd Interval

  • Push yourself slightly further than your first interval (treadmill example: 3 - 6.5 or 7.5 vs. 5.5). If you’re just starting out, you don't need to push further for the first 2-4 weeks.

6. 2nd Recovery 7. 3rd Interval

  • Push yourself slightly further then the 2nd (note: set your first interval at an appropriate intensity to allow for this progression).

8. 3rd recovery 9. 4th interval (drop down to first intervals intensity) 10. Cool Down(5 minutes and your DONE!) Note on efficiency:

  • 10 minutes to Warm up & Cool Down
  • 4 intervals of 30 seconds (2 minutes)
  • 1st 2nd and 3rd recovery (6 minutes)
  • Total: 18 minutes!

This 18 minutes is equivalent to 45-60 minutes of moderate to light intensity activity respectively. In conclusion, interval training is a great and efficient way to stimulate your bodily systems and continually adapt. If you aim to do this 2-3 times per week, you will really find a great improvement in your exercise capacity. Don't hesitate to contact the Physical Activity Line to assist you with an individualized interval training routine! Remember: Every Step Counts! Happy Training!

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