Interval Training for Fat Loss and Fitness

Published:  03/25/2015

Research shows that high-intensity interval training is superior to aerobic exercise for fat loss and improving fitness. Performing intervals can increase your aerobic fitness, since it trains your muscles to work harder and produce energy faster so that means you'll be able to run faster and longer. Perform the following workout one or two times per week, in addition to your regular training.

Exercise intensity can be measured via heart rate. The target zones for this workout can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220 then multiplying x .85 and by .65.

For a 50 year old 220-50=170. 170 x .65= 110  170 x .85= 144
Beginner Interval Workout
Work = 15 seconds 85%     Recovery= 45 seconds 65%

Advanced Interval Workout
If you are a healthy, experienced exerciser:

4 minutes at 85% of your maximum predicted heart rate (220-age)

2 minutes 70% of your maximum predicted heart rate (220-age)

Repeat 5 times.

In a study, training increased VO2 max by 13% and skyrocketed whole body fat burning by 36%. And this is only after 7 interval training workouts over a 2 week period.

Talanian, J. (2006). Two weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 102: 1439-1447.

*As always, check with your doctor before starting an exercise plan even if you believe you are healthy. The American College Of Sports Medicine says that women 55 or older and men 45 or older should check with a doctor before taking on vigorous exercise. Anyone who smokes or has recently quit smoking, or those suffering from high cholesterol, diabetes, chronic conditions or high blood pressure should also consult a physician prior to exercise. Others who may benefit from a physician's exam and advice would be people who are overweight or people with a family history of heart disease prior to the age of 55.


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