By: Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
If you are looking to cut down on the amount of time you spend in the gym without jeopardizing your fat loss goals, then including interval training alongside your strength training program is the only way to go.
Just imagine spending half the time in the gym - if not more – and getting way better results. Isn't that what you deserve?
I thought so.
And to make the notion of ditching long, slow, boring cardio even more convincing is the fact that you will be far less susceptible to sustaining an overuse injury with interval training.
For some of you, however, the thought of giving up your daily cardio machine routine is too much to bear. But not to worry because you can still use your favorite machine, but we'll just tweak things a bit so that you get more out of your workout in half the time.
1) Interval Training Option #1 - Classic Intervals
For example, try incorporating intervals on the treadmill by running hard for 30 seconds, at an 8 out of 10 intensity level, followed by 60 seconds of light recovery at a 3 out of 10 intensity level.
That is one interval, and so you will repeat this process up to 6 times, while using a five minute warm-up and a 5 minute cool down.
Each week try to do more squats in the same amount of time. This may sound easy, but trust me; it can be as difficult as you make it!
2) Interval Option #2 - Short Burst Squats
I personally recommend a Gymboss timer for this type of training, but it isn't essential.
So, for the bodyweight interval training you will do as many bodyweight squats as you can for 20 seconds and then hold the bottom position for 10 seconds, then repeat your squats for 20 seconds, and then hold at the bottom for 10 etc. Repeat these intervals for 8 rounds.
3) Interval Option #3 - Kettlebell Swings
If you have a kettlebell, you can do swings or kettlebell squats for 30 seconds and then walk for 30 seconds and alternate for 6-10 rounds. That's a great way to finish a fat burning workout.
Alright, so those are just three of the countless ways in which you can include interval training into your workouts that will burn fat faster and help you avoid spending more time than necessary in the gym.