Interval Confusion

Interval training may actually be harming your workout rather than helping it. Whaaaaaat, you say? It’s true, and you may not even realize it.

It’s one of the most consistent fitness trends, interval training. It’s working for a specific amount of time, and then going slower for a set amount of time. You then repeat that pattern until the end of your workout time.fir example, you go 30 seconds hard at a 9.0 M.P.H. speed, then 30 seconds slower at a 5.0 M.P.H. speed.

This form of training allows you to go harder than you’re able to sustain if you were to go at a steady speed. With a goal of burning more calories, and hitting different energy systems during your workout. As well all know, you need to change it up here and there during your workouts.

However, you may think you’re doing good, but you may actually be working less hard than a consistent speed workout.

You need to watch your interval timings, and do your math. Ugh, you’ve got to do math. I know, I know. But it’s worth it in the end, and it’s simple math. 

Let’s take a 30 second hard, 90 second rest interval example. Take 2 minutes per set, and you do 15 round of it, for a total of 30 minutes. If you do the math, you’re only going hard for 7.5 minutes of the 30. 7.5 minutes!!! That’s only 25% of the time, the other 75% of the time you’re going at a slower speed than you’d regularly go.

Now, if you’re going for race training, or just overall fitness improvement, this may be ok. However, if weight loss is your goal, this may not be your best method of training.

If you went in and said, “I did 7.5 minutes of cardio, I’m done”, would you expect to see any results? Likely not, but maybe. But you want to set yourself up for success. You want to avoid frustration at the gym, as frustration may lead to giving up. And we don’t want that to happen.

So if you’re going to do interval training, try to keep those intervals at, at least 1:1 ratio, or even a 1:2 ratio. Any more than that, and you may not be getting the full results that you are looking for.