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Interval Training Routines – A More Effective Aerobic Workout

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Quite simply, it is a workout where you alternate bursts of intense activity with periods of lighter activity. And, you can apply this type exercise to 

  • Walking (Treadmill or Street Walking)
  • Jogging or Running
  • Sprinting
  • Uphill Sprinting
  • Rowing
  • Elliptical Trainers
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Indoor Cycling
  • Stair Climbing
  • Jumping Rope

For example, you can mix moderate pace walking with a faster pace walk. Or, if you are in good shape, you can mix short burst of intense jogging with your normal pace jogging.

Why do an Interval Training Program rather than just walk or jog at a constant speed for 30 minutes?

You will be less bored with your exercise routine. I became an advocate of interval training routines when I realized that time was passing faster when I exercised this way.

I think that it is because you are less focused on the passage of time, and more focused on maintaining the cycle of fast and slow.

You will burn more calories and lose more fat. This is true even if you have burst of intensity for just a few minutes at a time. This is because you are working harder. You don’t really realize it, though, since you workout more vigorously for only a short period of time in cycles.

Without knowing it, you will increase your ability to do aerobic exercises longer and with more intensity over time. This is because the cyclic nature of this technique improves your cardiovascular fitness.

You will find this style of exercise more comfortable.

A steady speed and high intensity workout produces a large buildup of waste products around your muscles. It is this buildup of waste products in your body that produces a sense of pain and exhaustion.

By alternating periods of intense exercise with lower intensity exercise allows your body to keep these waste products from building up to painful levels.

Your body was never designed to operate at one high speed. We were designed to perform quick burst of physical activity followed by a period of recovery. That is why this technique of cycling fast and slow exercise speeds is a more natural way to workout.

How you alternate between fast and slow workout speeds and intensity is completely up to you. The key is to maintain some type of program cycle.

Interval Training Routine

I like to jog for 1 to 2 minutes to reach my target heart rate, and then walk briskly for 3 minutes. I repeat this 4-minute cycle 4 times for a 16-minute workout. 

If you are not able to jog, you can simply walk faster during the fast pace part of the cycle. If you can jog, you might try running faster each time the faster pace part of the cycle comes up, and ending with your top speed during the last 4-minute cycle. Do whatever is comfortable and enjoyable for you.

4x4 Interval Training Routine

The routine described above is the 4x4 interval training routine that is advocated by the researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Their studies have shown that this routine can help 50-year-olds be as fit as 20-year-olds who do not exercise much. This aerobic exercise routine also is a quick and efficient way to increase and maintain your fitness levels.

You can also apply the Interval Training Program to any aerobic equipment. Some treadmills come with a programmable feature, where you can program the machine for your favorite cycle times. This technique can also be used on elliptical machines.

In summary, training your body with variable intensity and speeds by adopting  Interval Training Routines will

  • Increase your aerobic capacity
  • Improve your heart health
  • Consume more calories
  • Burn more fat
  • Make exercise more fun

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Wikipedia Interval Training
A Healthy Mix of Rest and Motion
Two Weeks of High-intensity interval training increases the capacity for fat oxidation during exercise in women
Fat Oxidation