Use Interval Workouts to Drop Kick Fat off Your Body


Interval Workouts For Weight Loss

 If you’re the kind of person who gets bored of super long cardio sessions but you are eager to burn fat and build muscle in the process, you’re in luck.

It turns out that slow and steady truly doesn’t win the race when it comes to fat burning. Using high-intensity interval training provides a varied and dynamic workout for both your cardiovascular energy systems and your body’s explosive response, achieving the best of both worlds in the interest of your fitness and health. While many athletes apply this method to running, it is entirely applicable to swimming and cycling.

So let’s dig in. High-intensity interval training is made up of a combination of high-intensity training and interval training. High-intensity training like sprinting requires your body’s maximum effort to achieve muscle fatigue, and meanwhile, maximum quick burst oxygen use to fuel the exercise.

There are a few key elements at work here in terms of benefits to high-intensity training. First and foremost, as your muscles are forced to work harder, they require greater levels of oxygen, meaning you are working close to your VO2 MAX. The highest amount of oxygen your body can physically consume during exercise is known as your VO2 MAX.

Interval Training for Burning Fat?

When you train at your body’s VO2 MAX, this triggers the afterburn effect, which is your body continuing to consume oxygen for hours after your workout.  Keep in mind that your body used 5 calories to burn 1 liter of oxygen, therefore, if your body is continuing to use oxygen at a higher rate after your workout, you are continuing to burn calories while you are recovering. This is a powerful response as your body will continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after you complete your workout.

Interval Workouts For Fat Loss

Mix in Interval Workouts

Interval training is categorized by alternating periods moderate to low effort (example: jogging) with periods of intense effort (example: sprinting). Many fitness experts have determined that interval training is preferable to longer, steady cardio workouts as the interval training increases your metabolism for a significantly longer period after the workout has ended than the slower, steadier option.

To put this into perspective, this means that a half an hour of your time spent alternating between high and low intensity running, biking or swimming burns more calories than the same amount of time spent working at a steady level of intensity. On top of this, interval training builds lean muscle while steady pace training has much less of an effect in this regard.

Interval Workouts Putting it all together.

Knowing what we do about the power of interval training and high-intensity training, the best results in terms of lean muscle development, and training both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems can be achieved through combining these methods. The result is maximized increases to your metabolic rate, a higher rate of calorie burning both during and after your workout, and more muscle building and retention as you burn fat. This is major. Get more done in less time, and get more out of it. This is why we use high-intensity interval training.

How does it work?

A half an hour of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) performed 3 times per week bears as much of an anaerobic and aerobic impact as an hour of steady cardio performed 5 times per week! Let’s take a look at the science behind this vastly superior method for fat loss and training. HIIT works both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, while steady cardio training will only impact aerobic. This is because aerobic respiration uses oxygen to generate ATP (energy) whereas anaerobic respiration does not.

Interval Workouts

Ready to get started?

So now that you know the real key to burning fat while developing lean muscle is high-intensity interval training, let’s get into some example workouts to get you fit, healthy and strong. Remember, there are a few keys that remain constant throughout these routines: always warm up both low and high intensity movement, vary your routines and try different ones to keep your body from getting used to your workouts and always respect your body’s need for rest and rehydration between training sessions.

Interval I: Basic Training

Start simple, get accustomed to training at varied intensity levels within the same session and focus on thinking of the lower intensity portion as rest for the higher intensity portion. This one is nice and simple, and great for adapting to the technique.

Frequency: 3-4x per week.

            Duration: 24 minutes

 Warm Up – 5 minutes

Light jog or easy pedaling, while gradually increasing your intensity without inducing fatigue before your workout has really begun.

 Intervals – 60 seconds high intensity, 60 seconds low (7 rounds)

Remember, high intensity means full on sprint, use the low intensity as your rest. However, keep in mind that your speed over a full minute will differ significantly from how long you can maintain a max speed for shorter duration as with Tabata (below).

 Cool Down – 5 minutes

You’ll be fairly jacked up after this workout, so gradually decrease your intensity into a very light jog, bike or swim to a walk or the equivalent.

Interval II: Tabata

The Tabata method has been applied to a wide variety of exercises from squats to pushups and is known to surprise many first timers. Tabata cycles can appear easy at first glance. While the overall duration is shorter, the goal is to be working at 170% of your VO2 MAX, so don’t be fooled. These 7 intense rounds are no joke and you will need that 10-second rest if you’re doing it right.

Frequency: 3x per week.

            Duration: 4 minutes

 Warm Up – 5 minutes

Light jog, loosen up your muscles but remember this one is about absolutely going all out for 20 seconds at a time, so save your energy for the workout.

Intervals – 20 seconds HIGH intensity, 10 seconds rest (walk)

Cool Down – 5 minutes

Interval III: Pyramid

The pyramid interval allows you train both at the short-short burst of high intensity and the slightly longer high-intensity level, and everything in between. This is a great one for hitting all bases. The high point of this workout will be the pinnacle of the pyramid, where you are fully warmed up.

Frequency: 2-3x per week

Duration: 23 minutes

Warm Up – 5 minutes


30 seconds high, 60 seconds low

45 seconds high, 60 seconds low

60 seconds high, 60 seconds low

90 seconds high, 60 seconds low

60 seconds high, 60 seconds low

45 seconds high, 60 seconds low

30 seconds high, 60 seconds low

Cool Down – 5 minutes

Interval Training for Body Fat

Interval IV: Turbulence

Combine strength straining with intense cardio for a full body shock that will build lean muscle while working both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. Choose compound movements, squats and core exercises to really challenge your body. There are a few ways to make this method work for you; you can use the same weighted exercise throughout or change it up by round, and the same goes for the cardio portion.

Frequency: 3x per week

Duration: 45 minutes

Warm Up – jog it out, perform the exercise(s) that you’ve chosen to use for the intervals without using any added weight.

Intervals – 8 reps of weighted exercise, 60 seconds aerobic exercise

Cool Down – Light jog down to walk, stretch and use foam rollers.

Interval Training


High intensity interval training is a very effective way to burn fat and build lean muscle at the same time. Don’t ignore the warm up and cool down and don’t underestimate how much these types of routines can take out of you. As always, hydrate and rest up after.

-Terry Asher


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Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
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