Day 53: Interval training

25 02 2010

Since I started cycling last year, I often hear how beneficial interval training is to a workout routine. I’ve not yet incorporated it into my routine, but I plan to give it a try. Intense bursts of activity followed with short rest periods in between allow for the body to more quickly build stronger muscles. I’m not a morning person, so I have a very difficult time making myself get up and do a decent length workout at 5:30 a.m., which is when I’d have to start in order to be finished, showered, dressed and get to work on time. I try to make time to work out after work in the evenings, but it seems like life just gets in the way. If this type of training enables me to squeeze in a good workout in a shorter amount of time, then I’m all for it. Prior to my rotator cuff injury, I used to do a DVD kettlebell workout which was based on the Tabata method: 20 seconds of maximum intensity, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated without stopping for a total of about 12 minutes. It was exhausting, but a very enjoyable workout. (Which had nothing to do with my shoulder injury, by the way.)

In an article today on MSNBC.com, an exercise expert at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology “. . . recommends people try four sessions lasting four minutes each, with three minutes of recovery time in between.” The article went on to mention that, “when compared to people on a normal exercise routine, like jogging, research has shown those doing interval training can double their endurance, improve their oxygen use and strength by more than 10 percent, and their speed by at least 5 percent.”

What’s not to like about that?

Do you incorporate interval training into your exercise routine? If so, what kind of payoff have you experienced?

Today’s starting weight: 152

Food journal:

Breakfast:
— Chocolate, peanut butter, banana smoothie (fat free chocolate milk, reduced fat peanut butter) = 353 cal.

Lunch:
— Panera smoked turkey sandwich on country bread = 620
— Iced tea = 0

Dinner:
— Salad with ranch dressing = 163
— Soft pretzel = 483
— Iced tea = 0

Snacks:
— Fat free chocolate pudding = 60

Thanks for visiting. See you tomorrow.

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