The Benefits of Interval Training

HIIT beginners exercise

Working out can be daunting, especially if you’re time is limited. It’s this constraint that causes many people to skip the gym all together. If you’re one of the many- or you just want to try a new way to workout, interval training is a great gym or home based option.

WAFFL trainer Alnawaz Jamal describes interval training as, “short intense efforts followed by equal or slightly longer recovery periods, like running at a high intensity for one minute followed by one minute at a slow jog or walk.” So if you’re short on time, hitting the gym for a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout means time doesn’t have to be an excuse anymore.

“Recent studies have shown a 12 week interval training at high intensity has reduced body fat, increased muscle mass and shown greater reductions in abdominal, trunk, and visceral fat.” Jamal points out that interval training works because you lose more body fat in a short period of time, rather than doing, for example, an hour of steady cardio.

Working out at a higher intensity, even if just in 20 second to one minute sprints, means you increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance.  For those unfamiliar, when you hit your anaerobic threshold you know because your muscles have reached their point of outright fatigue.  This is important because this threshold is what enables interval training to show faster results.

Jamal reminds us, “Overtraining intervals can tax your CNS (Central Nervous System), cause muscle damage, and metabolic stress.” So if you’re not an athlete, this fatigue isn’t necessary, especially if you just want to look your best rather than be an Olympic-level runner. So WAFFL recommends stating out with interval training twice a week and allowing yourself plenty of time to recover.

Maybe you’re really short on time and can’t make it to the gym.  The great thing about interval training is that it’s effective at home with just your body weight. You can begin by doing a workout in which you push yourself to your limit for about 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds.

Check out our three-exercise beginners HIIT workout or go to your WAFFL app and find a safe, trainer curated, step-by-step interval workout to fit your busy schedule.

Megan Russell

by Megan Russell, Freelance Writer

Megan Russel is a freelance writer and editor based in Austin Texas. Her interests include people, health and fitness, art, books and science. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Kansas.

She writes for WAFFL as well as number of online and print publications. Megan can be contacted on her website meganwhitneyrussell.wordpress.com.