If you want an effective workout in a smaller amount of time, interval training might be the best option. It mixes high-intensity bursts of activity with low-intensity activity. It's appropriate for various fitness levels, and it can also save you time by giving you the same or similar results as longer workouts.
Now the question is, how do I get the most value in interval training? Here are three principles you should think off when doing interval-type workouts.
Tip #1: Preserve Your FORM
One of the biggest mistakes, when we see athletes perform interval workouts, is that their form starts to really degrade after a few rounds. To get the most out of this type of exercise stimulus you want to both perform the movement fast but also keep the form. Doing it this way will transfer more into your other workouts.
If you find your form breaking down early you can reduce the intensity by altering the load of the movement or just slowing down the speed a bit so you can keep form. When you're consistent in preserving form, you get way stronger and faster.
Tip #2: Perform them FAST
Now on the other side of this, when you perform them too slow there just isn't a lot of benefit for muscular changes. Slow works well on endurance workouts which improves your overall respiratory endurance but interval workouts are great for building muscular capacity.
You can perform movements fast because you have a dedicated amount of rest after each interval. Sometimes 30 seconds, a minute, or even 2 minutes. The rule here is the longer the rest the faster the movements should look.
Make sure you adhere to the last tip when performing fast. While you get the benefit of moving fast broken form. The body will remember and acclimate to move that way which will eventually lead to a plateau in your performance.
Tip #3: Create a moderate FATIGUE stimulus
The final piece to this is to make sure the workout is creating a moderate fatigue stimulus. What we mean by that is the workout should be intense but not so intense you can't maintain the same speed and form in your later rounds. In fact, the rounds should nearly be identical maybe a dash slower.
There is very little value in performing one fast round and a really slow 2nd round. At this point, you are just improving your survivability which is essential but not the intention. So make sure to pick movements, loads, and speeds that can create this stimulus for yourself.
If you need help, our amazing team can help design workouts and stimuli to get the best out of each workout. Now go out there and try these three tips out.
Leave us a comment if it helps you in your next workout.
PS: If you are having trouble doing long workouts, check out our last post on 3 Tips for Endurance Workouts.