We talk about big fitness buzz words a lot in these articles. Whether it is because something new and exciting is out or a new fad is getting popular, I love to make sure people are up to date with whether it works as well as advertised!
One of the biggest ones of the past years has been interval training. Trainers who utilize this method describe benefits of decreased workout time, maximizing benefits, and rounded programs that target multiple systems for all levels of participants whether seasoned athletes or brand new. So, we always have to check: do the ads scan?
I rarely get to say this, so I have to admit I am probably going to surprise everyone when I say this, but ABSOLUTELY! Specific interval training has been highly studied since its introduction, and benefits are remarkable. Depending on the specific intervention and dosing, better results can be seen in less than a quarter of the time spent working any particular concentration! Compared to sustained steady state cardio, similar changes in oxygen processing efficiency gains can be seen in interval groups, with actually higher improvements shown in lactic acidosis threshold. This means not only could those who use interval training gain just as much long distance gain, but could also improve their sprinting ability.
Similarly, we have seen safety proven across multiple levels, showing that not only can high level athletes benefit from this type of training, actually some of the original test subjects, but even participants with more severe diagnoses like MS can have stellar benefits beyond even those of more common interventions!
This exercise prescription style actually seems to work just as well for multiple types of training too! Meaning that strength, cardiovascular endurance, and power can all benefit from interval training, making it even easier for a lot of clients to gain faster independence in self guided programs!
Now, admittedly, one of the most important parts of exercise is that you genuinely enjoy what you are doing. So before committing full force to this kind of exercise, it is always best to try it out a few times. But if you do end up enjoying interval training, you can be very confident in the supporting evidence!
So, is interval training worth the hype? Finally, I get to say YES!