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Are you looking to get fit quickly?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Are you looking to get fit quickly? Then interval training is your key to success.

Interval training can be described as short periods of work followed by rest. The main aim is to improve speed and cardiovascular fitness. There’s a lot of buzz around the idea of micro-workouts and the notion these could help you reach your fitness goals and save you precious time.

Magic four minutes

One approach that’s had a lot of publicity involves exercising intensely for just four minutes, three times a week. Some say this is enough to get you fit. Known as 4×4, this form of interval training involves four lots of four minute bursts of high intensity exercise (where you are too breathless to speak more than a few words) broken up by three-minute bursts at a lower intensity (where you are too breathless to sing but can still speak a full sentence).

Alternating between intervals at higher and lower intensities is the best way to get fit as it helps you keep your heart rate higher for longer than if you push yourself hard continuously. Jeff Coombes, professor of exercise science at the University of Queensland, says doing the 4×4 workout three times a week is a highly effective way to boost fitness.

Supramaximal Training

One such form of exercise, called supramaximal training, was actively promoted in a British documentary, also broadcast on television in Australia, called ‘The Truth About Exercise’. In supramaximal training, you basically go all out. You go as hard as you possibly can for around 10 to 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds to a minute and then go as hard as you possibly can again. The length of the intervals will depend on your fitness. This type of exercise can be really useful for people short on time and quite fit, who don’t have diseases. But it is likely to be associated with more risk.

NB. A longer warm-up is recommended before undertaking any interval training to reduce the chance of any kind of cardiovascular complication you might get with a sudden increase in stress on your heart.

By Katherine Rothwell | Eat Fit Food Nutritionist