19 Often-Overlooked Benefits Of Interval Training
If you’re looking for new and exciting ways to get in shape, may we be so bold as to suggest interval training?
There are heaps of benefits of interval training to enjoy, it is a proven method of getting in shape, and it is perhaps one of the most underrated forms of exercise in the process.
We want to change that.
When exercising, everybody has their own preferences in terms of what they like and dislike, and what generally works for them.
Interval training is a type of training that regular gym-goers are aware of, but often avoid for fear of it being too difficult, or indeed, too intense.
The truth of the matter is that interval training is for everyone, regardless of your athletic ability or your personal circumstances.
We all know that exercise is good for us, yet the problem is that most people don’t get enough, or they simply don’t work hard enough.
Don’t get us wrong, any exercise is better than no exercise, but if you are looking to improve your health and fitness levels, it is important to work hard enough and get enough.
This is where the benefits really become apparent.
Here’s a look at the 19 benefits that you need to experience to believe.
- 1 What Is Interval Training?
- 2 What Are The Main Benefits Of Interval Training?
- 2.1 1. Can Be Done Quickly To Save Time
- 2.2 2. No More Excuses
- 2.3 3. Interval Training Obliterates Fat
- 2.4 4. Improves Your Fitness
- 2.5 5. You Don’t Need Any Equipment
- 2.6 6. Can Be Done Anywhere
- 2.7 7. Save Money
- 2.8 8. You Can Mix Things Up
- 2.9 9. Never Lose Interest
- 2.10 10. You’ll Have More Energy
- 2.11 11. You Can Meet New People
- 2.12 12. Increase Your VO2 Max Levels
- 2.13 13. You Can Build Muscle With Interval Training
- 2.14 14. Reduce Your Blood Pressure
- 2.15 15. Improved Cardiovascular Health
- 2.16 16. Interval Training Reduces Blood Sugar
- 2.17 17. Burn Fat And Not Muscle
- 2.18 18. Interval Training Is Challenging
- 2.19 19. Boost Your Mental Health
- 3 Final Thoughts:
What Is Interval Training?
Hold your horses, we’ll get to the benefits in just a few moments but first, we need to take a look at precisely what interval training is.
Interval training is a training protocol in which the participant/participants alternate between periods of HIIT exercise and low-intensity exercise for pre-determined amounts of time.
If you want a very basic example of interval training, imagine walking for 30 seconds, sprinting for 30 seconds, and then repeating this cycle over and over again for as many rounds as you can fit into, say, 20-minutes.
What Are The Main Benefits Of Interval Training?
Okay, so as we now have a rough idea about what interval training is, let’s get to the good stuff and look at the main benefits as part of your workout routine.
1. Can Be Done Quickly To Save Time
One of the main reasons why interval training is proving to be so popular as of late is due to the fact that it can be done so very quickly in order to save time.
We get it, life is busy and some people’s personal lives are more hectic than others, which means that they don’t have time to work out for 60 – 90 minutes several times per week.
If this applies to you, then interval training is perfect.
An interval training workout can be performed in as little as 15-minutes and if you work hard enough you’ll still reap the rewards.
2. No More Excuses
We know that working out is good for us, but we also know it’s difficult and it can be tough to find the energy and motivation to get it done.
Because of this, a lot of people look for reasons not to train and a lack of time is one of them.
One of the biggest benefits is the fact that it can be done very quickly which means that people can no longer use a lack of free time as an excuse not to train.
As mentioned, a high-intensity interval training session can be performed in as little as 15 – 20 minutes, and who doesn’t have that to spare?
3. Interval Training Obliterates Fat
Found that you’ve put on too much weight over the last few months/years and want to get down to a leaner you?
If so, then interval training is perfect.
Interval training requires you to work at a high intensity and to work very hard with minimal rest.
One workout will easily burn 400 calories, but that’s not all.
Because you work so hard, you will temporarily increase your metabolism after training for as long as 12 – 24 hours.
This is known as the ‘afterburn effect’ and it literally means that you will burn more calories even in a rested state.
4. Improves Your Fitness
If you thought that the only way to get fit and boost your endurance and stamina was to take part in endurance-based workouts, prepare to have your minds blown.
It turns out that one of the most effective ways of getting fit and boosting endurance is through interval training.
Interval training workouts improve your lung capacity and can help you to utilize oxygen more efficiently, which ultimately will help make you fitter.
5. You Don’t Need Any Equipment
Another benefit that can’t be overlooked is the fact that interval training can be done with no equipment at all.
Sure, you can use machines and accessories such as resistance bands and weighted vests in an interval workout if you wish, but if you don’t have access to those things, interval training can be done with no equipment of any kind.
6. Can Be Done Anywhere
Don’t have access to a gym?
No problem, you can still take part in an interval workout anywhere, at any time.
Due to the fact that there are so many exercises you can perform as part of an interval workout, you don’t need to worry if you don’t have access to a gym.
You can do cardio workouts and bodyweight exercises virtually anywhere as part of an interval workout.
So, whether you’re at work in the office, on the road, in your garden, in the park, in your garage, or even in your front room, you can still perform an interval workout if you don’t have access to a gym.
7. Save Money
Sticking with the theme of interval training workouts not needing gyms or equipment, if you are looking to save money, interval workouts are ideal.
Interval training can be done at home with no gym membership needed, no travel expenses, and no gym equipment or accessories needed.
If you are looking to save money, interval training can be very useful.
8. You Can Mix Things Up
If you’re bored of doing the same workouts every single training session, interval training is perfect.
Another fantastic benefit that we need to look at today, is the fact that you can mix things up and try a number of different workouts and training sessions.
From cardio-based workouts to weight and resistance-based interval workouts, you can mix things up and create new and unique workouts based on your own goals and preferences.
9. Never Lose Interest
Switching up your workout routine and trying something different isn’t just beneficial for your fitness levels and your health in general, it also helps keep you motivated.
If you’re trying a new and exciting workout you’ll find that your motivational levels are higher than usual and you’ll be less likely to lose interest.
This will not only make the workouts more enjoyable, but it will also make them more productive too.
10. You’ll Have More Energy
When talking about the benefits, another key advantage of interval training is the fact that it will enable you to have more energy.
Despite being physically demanding, as it has been found to ramp up your metabolism, the faster your metabolism runs, the more energy your body will produce as you burn off more calories.
11. You Can Meet New People
If you decide to take an interval training class or group, another awesome benefit is the fact that this will allow you to meet new people.
When you join an interval training class, you’ll find that the people you train with are generally friendly and like-minded individuals as they are there for the precise same reasons as you.
Because of this, you’ll instantly hit it off because you already will have common ground.
12. Increase Your VO2 Max Levels
One of the lesser-known benefits is the fact that it will increase your VO2 Max levels.
There are heaps of science to this, but basically, VO2 Max is the amount of oxygen that your lungs can utilize when you’re working out.
The more oxygen your lungs can utilize, the more energy your cells will have and the more energy your muscles will have as a result.
Put even simpler, by increasing the amount of oxygen you use during exercise, you will have more energy so you can exercise harder.
Interval training has been found to significantly boost VO2 Max levels.
13. You Can Build Muscle With Interval Training
People often associate interval training with fat loss, when in reality it can also be used as a way of building muscle.
If you decide to perform resistance-based exercises as part of an interval workout, you will find that you can get yourself one heck of a calisthenics workout that will stimulate muscle growth and repair.
Whether you perform bodyweight exercises, free weight exercises, or machine exercises, if you alternate between high and low intensities, this will result in impressive rates of muscle growth and toning.
14. Reduce Your Blood Pressure
If you’re concerned about high blood pressure, interval training could be the perfect training principle for you.
Hypertension can put a strain on your heart, it can leave you susceptible to illness and disease, it can damage your organs, it can put you at risk of stroke, and more besides.
Interval training has been found to significantly reduce blood pressure, making it perfect for your health.
15. Improved Cardiovascular Health
Another fantastic benefit is the fact that it has been found to improve your cardiovascular health and wellbeing.
Heart disease is a huge problem in the developed world, yet interval training counts as impressive cardio.
Interval training helps to strengthen the heart, reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, strengthen the blood vessels and arteries, and just generally promote good cardio health.
16. Interval Training Reduces Blood Sugar
If you’re concerned about diabetes and blood sugar levels in general, interval training is the perfect form of exercise to enjoy.
Interval training helps to keep insulin levels stable while regulating blood glucose levels in the process.
This means that it is useful for diabetics, as well as for people who are pre-diabetic or people who are simply looking to keep their blood sugar levels stable.
17. Burn Fat And Not Muscle
In the run-up to a bodybuilding show or photoshoot, you’ll often find many bodybuilders performing interval-based workouts as a way of burning fat and getting leaner.
One of the many key benefits for people who want to look muscular, yet lean at the same time, is the fact that interval training helps to burn fat while preserving lean muscle tissue.
With interval training, you not only burn calories, but you work and tone the muscles, so you can get leaner and more defined as a result.
18. Interval Training Is Challenging
Anybody who tells you that interval training is easy is either lying, or they simply are not working hard enough.
Interval training is NOT easy, it is incredibly physically demanding, and that’s the point.
When you perform interval-based workouts, you’ll find yourself struggling physically and mentally, and there will be times when you want to quit.
If you can persevere and keep going, however, you’ll find that, despite being challenging, ultimately it is incredibly rewarding too.
19. Boost Your Mental Health
Finally, if you need another reason to take part in interval training, how about the fact that it can boost your mental health?
Not only does interval training promote the production of endorphins, but it will also help you to sleep better at night, and feel better in your own skin as you begin to look better too.
Interval training can lift your mood and fight stress, anxiety, and depression, making it wonderful for mental health.
As you can see, there are many benefits of interval training to be enjoyed, and we haven’t even listed each one above either.
Interval training may be tough, but it is great for saving time and it is ideal for getting fitter and leaner so why not include it in your weekly workouts and see what a difference it can make?