Interval training

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Exercise performed at a high intensity followed by a period of recovery is known as Interval training. This type of training is highly effective in burning calories and improving cardiovascular fitness.

The high intensity period can be anything from ten seconds to a couple of minutes and the recovery period can also be in this range depending on your fitness and experience.

The high intensity period can be 80% effort all the way up to 100% effort depending on your goals and training experience. Recovery periods can also be varied depending on your goals for the training session.

A beginners interval training would look like this.

For fat burning purposes we would recommend a 1 minute on, 1 minute off protocol. Select a exercise that you enjoy doing this could be the treadmill, exercise bike or rowing machine. You then perform a minutes exercise at 80% of your maximum effort, after one minute you stop and rest for one minute. You then repeat again for the required amount of times. As a beginner you should start by performing interval training for only ten minutes per session. This means you have five one minute periods of hard exercise and five one minute periods of recovery. Your session would look like this.


  1. 80% effort
  2. Rest
  3. 80% effort
  4. Rest
  5. 80% effort
  6. Rest
  7. 80% effort
  8. Rest
  9. 80% effort
  10. Rest

Every third workout add another minute of effort and another minute of recovery. Once you reach ten periods of effort you have reached the length of workout ideal for fat burning.

Interval training can easily be performed without any exercise equipment Squats, burpees, press ups, star jumps all can be performed using the interval protocol. Another intense session that you can perform at home is by using your staircase. Climbing your stairs as fast as you can and walking down involves a period of effort and a period of recovery as in interval training. Try to perform as many climbs as you can in a period of time. Each workout try to better your previous best. This could mean more climbs in the same time or the same amount of climbs in a faster time. Even better would be would be double progression, with more climbs in less time.


If you don’t have the time or inclination to go to the gym you can still have a very demanding workout in your own home. The staircase in your home can provide all the equipment you need to have a very intense training session.

Climbing the stairs as fast as you can and walking down allows you to perform one of the most effective forms of training. Interval training involves a period of intense exercise followed by a period of recovery and has been proven to be very effective for burning body fat. Try to do as many climbs as you can in a twenty minute period. Training this way improves cardiovascular fitness and burns body fat. Using the stairs will also help tone your thighs, hamstrings, calves and glutes.

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