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Thursday, January 26, 2012

4 Mistakes You Are Doing When Interval Training

First off I want to congratulate you if you have already started an interval-training program, you are one step closer to achieving your fat loss goals. In this article I am going to highlight some of the classic mistakes I see people making time and time again.

1. Not working hard enough - Interval training essentially comprises of two components; 'the push' and 'the recovery'. During the push phase you must make sure you are pushing yourself to at least 85% of your maximum and ideally 90%. The easiest way to do this is to ask 'how hard am I working on a scale of 1-10. If 1 is a very easy walk and 10 represents 'I physically could not work any harder even if you were holding a gun to my head' then you should be aiming for 8-9 out of 10. I am not going to lie to you, pushing yourself to these levels is hard. No one said intervals were easy but they are worth it. Interval training works in three major ways. First you are able to burn more calories in less time. Secondly you will significantly boost your metabolism and thirdly, your EPOC also known as after-burn effect will dramatically increase. This refers to the amount of calories you will burn after you workout has finished.

2. Working too hard during the recovery - First off I want to point out it is a recovery for a reason. Trying to push yourself during the recovery will only result in a poor performance in the push phase. In order to get the most out of the push phase you must allow your body to get the full recovery. Going back to the scale of 1-10, your recovery should be around 3-4 out of 10. For most people this would represent a light jog or maybe a walk.

3. Your ratios between push and recovery are too short - This leads to a similar problem as working too hard in the recovery. When performing intervals you need to have the mindset of performance first. Who will be able to consistently push themselves harder; sprinter A who sprints for 1 minute and recovers for 1 minute before going again or sprinter B who sprints for 1 minute and recovers for 2 minutes before going again? Sprinter B of course but this is not to say that you need to have a 10-minute sit down between intervals. Scientific research has shown us that a ratio of 2:1 works incredibly well for fat loss. The 2 represents the recovery and the 1 represents the work. Some different options for this would be to recover for 2 minutes and push for 1 minute or recover for 1:20 seconds and push for 40 seconds or even recover for 40 seconds and push for 20 seconds.

4. You're spending too long doing interval training - I am referring to the total time spent doing intervals. If your workout is lasting more than 40 minutes (this includes the warm-up and cool down) you're training for too long. Interval training is all about short bursts of high intensity. There is no way you can keep the intensity up for more than 40 minutes. If you can then I am going to tell you right now that you're not working hard enough during those intervals. A typical interval session might consist of 3-5 minutes of warming up followed by 6-8 intense intervals of 2 minutes recovery and 1-minute push and finally 3-5 minutes cooling down. That's 24-34 minutes total.

To conclude, intervals are hard... very hard actually but the results you can achieve are nothing short of amazing. Do your intervals right and I promise the fat will melt off faster than any type of training you have done before.

Results Personal Training based in Hampstead, North London, are specialist in Fat Loss, using a holistic approach to diet and exercise. Results have helped thousands of individuals gain health, confidence and a body of their dreams.

Personal Trainer North London

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