If your a bodybuilder there are two things that happen when you are prepping for a show. They both start with a phrase that bodybuilders dread hearing after a check in. “So we are going to cut back your calories” or equally as bad “we are going to increase your cardio this week”
When you are already starving and tired, hearing those words can really take a blow. The last time I was dieting for a show, my coach even gave me the option to decide my own fate. So a little fun fact, I love food. I’m pretty sure that is the whole reason I started working out, simply for the capability to eat more. So when given a lose-lose proposition like above, cardio was my go to.
It got to the point where I actually had to split it up into a morning cardio session and a evening one. There is only so much time you can spend on a stair climber without going insane and only so much food network a guy can watch. So pretty well anything I could do to make the blow softer, I would highly consider it.
This is where I learned about interval training and the benefits which came from it. I should start by explaining how this interval training works. I would do a minute at a medium low pace so for my example level 5/20 on the stair climber. The next minute I would jump the speed up to 10/20. On the working or faster minute I would try to increase the speed each interval, so next would be 11/20 and so on.
Now we all know how long a treadmill minute is, like worse then a microwave minute. But doing interval training seemed to speed things up. Now it didn’t actually speed things up but it is interactive and I became competitive with myself. Seeing if maybe next time I can start on a higher number or how fast can I get this thing to going?
Learning how to speed up a cardio minute is enough of a feat on its own, but then I started to learn all the other benefits that interval training presented. Here are a list of some:
1) It burns more fat, it also continues to burn more fat after the workout is done.
2) It alters the way your body stores food from storing it as fat to storing it as glycogen in the muscles.
3) The strength built from doing interval training is a more functional, powerful type of strength.
4) By constantly putting stress on your heart and lungs they will need to grow and become more powerful to meet up with demand.
Interval times can be changed and the effort levels can be adjusted to suit your personal level of fitness. What it really comes down to is just another tool in your fitness toolbelt. You can use this technique on just about any piece of equipment from treadmill to rowing. It’s the only way I do cardio now, give it a try and let me know if you enjoy it!