Why Intervals are the Best Method for Fat Loss

by : Rena Wong

Interval training is the most effective exercise in maximizing your metabolism, burning body fat and giving you a lean shape.

An interval is a brief period of exercise performed at a given intensity for a specific length of time. There is a short rest or lighter activity in between intervals. Although there are no rigid rules on the length and intensity of the interval, varying these two variables can change the way your body works and reacts to exercise.

Do not sacrifice the quality of rest between intervals as this will only reduce the benefits. You must give up the mindset of conventional cardio training in order to succeed with interval training.

Irrespective of what level you begin with interval training, be aware that the high intensity nature of the workout can cause muscle soreness and your legs may feel like jelly.

Nevertheless, interval training is the best cardio workout for losing body fat. Most people emphasize on working out for long hours, when shorter and more intense intervals are more efficient and effective.

Another benefit of intervals is that the body continues to burn calories and fat even after the training session. You won't get this benefit from long and steady cardio workout.

Canadian researchers discovered that interval training was more effective for fat loss when they compared interval training and long, slow cardio training.

Here are some examples of interval training programs which can be used 3 to 5 times per week to lose body fat.

Begin with this beginner program:

Warm-up for 5-minutes. Exercise for 30 seconds at a hard pace (8/10 level of effort - this should be slightly harder than the normal cardio pace). Follow that with "active rest" for 90 seconds by exercising at a slow pace (3/10 level of effort). Repeat for a total of 3-8 intervals. Finish with 15 minutes of very low intensity (3/10) exercise for cool-down.

As you become familiar with intervals, move on to the advanced program:

Warm-up for 5 minutes. Exercise for 30 seconds at a 9/10 level of effort. Follow that with "active rest" for 60 seconds by exercising at a 3/10 level of effort. Repeat for a total of 4-10 intervals. Finish with 5 minutes of very low intensity exercise (3/10) for a cool-down.