The basic weight loss nuts and bolts behind cardiovascular exercise (or any kind of exercise, really) is, as you know, a matter of catabolism.
Essentially, if you can engineer your body to require more energy, your body will comply by breaking cells down to deliver it; and that process (metabolism) burns calories. Simple, right?
So based on that logic, something called interval training neatly fits in with the overall plan. Interval training is simply a adding high-energy burning component to your exercise plan on an infrequent, or interval, basis.
For example, you may be at a stage where you can jog for 20 minutes every other day, and thus put your heart into a cardiovascular zone during this time.
This, obviously, is going to help you boost your metabolism and thus burn calories/energy. Yet you can actually burn disproportionately more calories if, during that 20 minute jog, you add a 30 second or 1 minute sprint.
Why? Because during this 30 seconds or 1 minute, you give your body a bit of a jolt.
Not an unhealthy jolt; remember, we’re talking about quick bursts here, not suddenly racing around the track or through the park! By giving your body an interval jolt, it automatically – and somewhat unexpectedly – has to turn things up a notch.
And to compensate for your extra energy requirements, the body will burn more calories.
It’s essential for you to always keep in mind that interval training only works when it’s at intervals. This may seem like a strange thing to say (and even difficult to understand), but it’s actually very straightforward.
The metabolism-boosting benefits that you enjoy as a result of interval training are primarily due to the fact that your body, suddenly, needs to find more energy.
While it was chugging along and supplying your energy needs during your cardiovascular exercising, it all of a sudden needs to go grab some more for 30 seconds or a minute; and in that period, it will boost your metabolism as if it were given a nice, healthy jolt.
As you can see, if you suddenly decided to extend your 30 second or 1 minute sprint into a 20 minute sprint, you simply wouldn’t experience all of the benefits.
Yes, your body would use more energy if you extend yourself to the higher range of your aerobic training zone. But your body won’t necessarily get that jolt that only comes from interval training.
So remember your goal
Your goal with interval training is to give your body a healthy jolt where it suddenly says to itself:
“Whoa! We need more energy here FAST, this person has increased their heart rate from 180 beats per minute to 190 beats per minute! Let’s go to any available cell, like those fat cells down at the waist, and break them down via catabolism so that this person can get the energy that they need!”
Remember (sorry to be repetitive, but this is very important): the whole point of interval training in this way is to give your body a sudden, limited, healthy jolt where it needs more energy – quick!
If you simply increase your speed and stay there, while your body may, overall burn some more calories, it won’t get that jolt.
Also bear in mind that interval training can indeed last longer than 30 seconds or a minute.
Some experts suggest that you can use interval training for 30-40 minutes, depending on your state of health and what your overall exercise regimen looks like.
The reason we’re focusing on 30 seconds to 1 minute is simply to give you a clear understanding that interval training is a kind of mini training within a training program.
And, as always, don’t overdo it with your interval training. Your goal here is to become healthier and stronger, and lose weight in that process.
You gain nothing if you run so fast or bike so hard during interval training that you hurt yourself. You will actually undermine your own health, and possibly have to stop exercising while torn muscles or other ailments heal.
(click below to read more)
(1) Transform Your Metabolism Into A Calorie Burning Machine!
(2) ‘Low Fat Labels’ Separating The Facts From The Fiction
(3) Understanding The Mumbo Jumbo – What is Metabolism?
(4) How Metabolism Relates to Calories & Weight Loss – part 1
(5) How Metabolism Relates to Calories & Weight Loss – part 2
(6) Introduction to Strategies to Boost Your Metabolism
(7) Isn’t Cardiovascular Exercise The Only Thing That Matters?
(8) Adding ‘High Energy’ Burning Component to Your Exercise
(9) Why Variety in Your Exercise Routine is ESSENTIAL
(10) How Lifestyle Influences The Speed of Your Metabolism
(11) Getting Enough Sleep Actually Improves Your Metabolism
(12) Constant Stress Negatively Influences Your Metabolism
(13) Understanding How Calories Affect Your Metabolism
(14) Eat More to Burn More? And Don’t Forget Breakfast – part 1
(15) Eat More to Burn More? And Don’t Forget Breakfast – part 2