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Cardio Interval Training

Page history last edited by Helena Baert 12 years, 6 months ago

First Author: Jonathan Riddell

Second Author:  Amber M

Interval Training has been around for a long time.  It allows a person to quickly benefit from the workout and it has proven to be more effective at burning fat than long distance/endurance type exercises.  Also in half the time of a normal workout you can receive more health benefits.  



How Interval Training Works

Interval training works both the oxygenated and the non-oxygenated systems. During the high intensity effort, the non-oxygenated system uses the energy stored in the muscles (glycogen) for short bursts of activity.  The by-product is lactic acid, which is related to the burning sensation felt in the muscles during high intensity efforts. During the high intensity interval, lactic acid builds and the athlete enters oxygen debt. During the recovery phase the heart and lungs work together to "pay back" this oxygen debt and break down the lactic acid. It is in this phase that the aerobic system is in control, using oxygen to convert stored carbohydrates into energy.


After you do this for a while you body begins to adapt to the interval training and you can add more and more of these shorts sprints. 


The basics are that instead of running for 30 minutes at a constant pace you run 6-12 short sprints for 30 seconds then rest for 90 seconds in between each sprint.  This is shown to provide a major boost in metabolism which will help them burn fat.


                               Interval Training Guide

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Precautions for Safe Interval Training


  • Warm up before starting intervals
  • Assess current conditioning and set training goals that are within your ability
  • Start slowly. (for example: walk 2 minutes/ run 2 minutes) In general, longer intervals provide better results
  • Keep a steady, but challenging pace throughout the interval
  • Build the number of repetitions over time
  • Bring your heart rate down to 100-110 bpm during the rest interval
  • To improve, increase intensity or duration, but not both at the same time
  • Make any changes slowly over a period of time
  • Train on a smooth, flat surface to ensure even effort
  • You can also use circuit training as a form of interval training


The Program



By doing this workout you can expect to make some great gains in as little as 8 weeks.


Benefits of Interval Training [4]


  • Burn more calories.
    • The more intense then the more calories you burn no matter if its a short or long period of time.
  • Improve aerobic capacity.
    • You'll be able to exercise longer or with more intensity.
  • Boredom doesn't exist.
    • Intervals can be changed up throughout.
  • No need for special equipment.


Interval training is a great way to workout especially if you don't have time in your schedule or if you don't like repetition throughout.  It allows time for you to mix up the movements, which at the same time confuses your muscles which helps to strengthen them.  Overall, interval training is a good option for anyone no matter the skill level.



  1. Quinn, Elizabeth. Interval Training Builds Fitness Fast. http://www.intervaltraining.net/Lose_Belly_Fat_Fast.html 11/05/08
  2. http://www.intervaltraining.net/Lose_Belly_Fat_Fast.html
  3. Fahey, T. D., Insel P. M. & Roth, W. T. (2009), Fit & Well: Core concepts and labs in physical fitness and wellness. McGraw-Hill, New York: New York. (pg.?)
  4. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/interval-training/SM00110

Comments (1)

Helena Baert said

at 11:57 am on Nov 20, 2008

Great job linking the titles to website! Very informative.

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