On-Again/ Off-Again Relationships

Intervals! I'm talking about Intervals!!

Intervals are considered by many experts, to be one of the most efficient and effective ways to increase your cardio capacity, increase endurance, and to burn calories and fat. What's not to like about that?!

The basic premise of an interval workout, is that, as opposed to working at a steady pace, you vary your intensity throughout the workout. I'm talking about the cardio portion of your workout. So, this could be done at the gym on a rowing machine, stationary bike, treadmill, stair stepper, eliptical, in the pool, etc.. Or, you can do your intervals with a jump rope, or running or cycling outdoors.

There are many ways to structure your interval training, including being non-structured. As long as you vary your intensity from easy to difficult, you will get great benefit.

My preferred way of doing intervals, is in a very structured manner. I chose a set time for the "hard work" portion, followed by a set time for the "really easy, or, total rest" portion. For example, I'll do 8 rounds of 30 seconds all-out effort, followed by 15 seconds of total rest (hence, the On-Again/Off-Again Relationship). Sometimes I shorten the intervals to 20 seconds work + 10 seconds rest. Sometimes I lengthen the times to 60 seconds work + 30 seconds rest, and so on. Also, I will vary the number of rounds, typically keeping the number of rounds between  8 and 12.

My workout today included some work with weights, as well as two separate sections of interval work. I did one set of intervals at the beginning of the workout, and one set towards the end of the workout. Here's what I did....

Rowing Intervals:
8 sets of 30/15. This was 30" all-out sprinting, followed by 15" of total rest. My total distance rowed was 1079 meters. (next time I do this same interval set, I can compare the total distance rowed)

Jump Rope Intervals:
8 sets of 30/15. This was 30" jumping as fast as possible, followed by 15" of total rest. I counted how many jumps I did each 30". These numbers were: 70, 68, 64, 59, 60, 59, 71, 55.  Total number of jumps = 506. Next time I will compare how many total jumps I'm able to do.

Your Homework:
Do an interval set during your next workout. The first time you do this, I suggest doing a short set. Do 8 rounds of 20/10. That's 20" all out sprint, followed by 10" total rest.

Looks pretty easy, right? Well, you'll be surprised how hard you work during these intervals! Be sure you have a towel and some water nearby. You're going to need them!

Today's workout, powered by the latest addition to the studio...my new JBL iPhone/iPod dock. Bring it on and crank the tunes!