Why use interval training?
When exercising at a higher intensity (which is the case in most sports) sufficient energy requirements can no longer be met solely from the aerobic energy system. Therefore, the lactic acid energy system must be used to provide the remainder of the energy. Without sufficient training of this energy system an individuals performance will be effected due to the lack of positive adaptation in two key areas:
- Ability to tolerate high levels of lactic acid
- Ability to remove lactic acid from the muscles
Interval training and fat lossInterval training has also been shown to have greater excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Commonly referred to as the after-burn. Which basically means an individuals metabolism is elevated higher and for longer post exercise after interval training when compared to continuous training. Which could therefore have a greater influence on fat loss.
How to plan interval training
Intervals are very structured. You specify the time or distance of the interval, the intensity of the interval, the length of the rest period between intervals and how many intervals will be conducted. This makes it very easy to measure progress.
Example of an interval training programme that can be carried out on a Concept II rower
- 250m 80-90% HRmax followed by 60-seconds rest x 5 sets