In a recently published article in the Wall Street Journal researchers are finding out long bouts of cardio can be harmful to the heart. Trainers including myself have advised doing long bouts of cardio for years now and generally prefer some form of interval training. Interval training is in a nutshell doing short durations of high intensity activity combine with brief periods of rest and/or moderate activity.
This recommendation comes from primarily two purposes. First, time constraints, not many clients have more that 45-60min they are willing to commit to exercising per workout. Secondly, because clients tend to get results faster with interval style training.
Interval training can take place in a variety of formats for example:
Walk/Jog or Jog/Sprint– this is were you would walk/jog for a short period of time say 60-90 seconds followed by a more intense jog/run of 30-60 seconds. This can be applied to any traditional methods of doing cardio.
Bodyweight exercises– Choosing a series of exercises that can be performed with ones own body. For instance: Push up, squats, bicycle crunch, lunges, back extension and calf raises. Perform each exercise for 20-40 seconds and rest 0-20 seconds between each exercise. Complete the circuit as many times as you can in 20 minutes. This can also be applied to exercise with weights, ie free weights and/or machines.
Interval training is even finding a place in cardiac rehab. Interval training isn’t just for the athletes.