The fitness world is one in which a new “best method” for weight loss, muscle gain, or improving general health emerges seemingly every week. Thus, it can be difficult to assess whether the next big thing is indeed what it claims to be or is just a big waste of time. The difference lies in whether the claims actually have science to back them up. In the case of interval training, the literature is indisputable: interval training is effective and can be a valuable tool in the fight against fat.
When it comes to losing weight, interval training provides significant advantages for attaining your goals more quickly than any other method. There are at least five killer reasons you should be doing interval training for weight loss – read on for more information.
1. Time Saving
One of the biggest obstacles that stands in the way of successful fitness plans, particularly those aimed at promoting weight loss is a lack of time. Being dedicated to your fitness plan can require a significant investment in time. From prepping healthy meals logging enough hours to burn large numbers of calories, many weight loss plans are very time-consuming. However, performing interval training allows you to save time because the higher intensity level allows you to burn more calories during a short session of interval training than you would during a long session of steady-state cardio.
2. Improved Endurance Capacity
Another benefit of interval training, and one that is not often appreciated as much as it should be, is the speed at which interval training can help improve your endurance capacity. Research from the September 2006 issue of The Journal of Physiology found performing 18-minute sessions of interval training improved endurance capacity at a similar rate to steady-state exercise sessions of 90 minutes in length. Improving your endurance capacity helps you work out longer and burn more calories, helping you reach your weight loss goals. If you work at home and don’t have the transportation means to go to a far-away gym, you should do interval training, as it can be done anywhere with minimum to no equipment.
3. Muscle Building
The higher intensity of interval training also provides a greater stimulus for building muscle. The forceful contractions of sprinting and all-out cardio help encourage the development of muscle tissue, making it the preferred cardio method of those looking to gain muscle. Accruing muscle tissue is also helpful if you want to lose weight, as muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. Thus, having more muscle boosts your metabolism all day, meaning it will be easier to achieve a calorie deficit when you have more muscle.
4. Muscle Sparing
If you already have muscle mass that you want to preserve while losing weight, interval training is a wise choice because it doesn’t break down muscle tissue like long endurance workouts do. With interval training, you can maintain your muscle mass and keep your metabolism high while getting a great, calorie-burning cardio workout.
5. Less Boring
Let’s face it – one of the reasons some people resist steady-state cardio is because it’s long and boring. With interval training, the sessions are short and constantly changing, so they’re more entertaining.
This article was written by the team at Orbit Fitness, Perth, Western Australia’s largest supplier of exercise bikes, treadmills, home gyms and more.