Blasting Fat with Cardio Intervals

Kelly Kalbfleisch- NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

CoachMeFit Ann Arbor, Manager

As many of you have probably figured out by now, whether from magazines, programs geared towards fitness or from personal experience, cardio interval training is all the fat burning rage. 

“Intervals are an important addition to your training routine because your body adapts to movements and intensities over time.  Repeatedly putting your muscles through the same (limited) range of motion or adhering religiously to a specific aerobic intensity will stall any strength gains or weight-loss goals you may have in mind.”

“An admirable quality of interval training is that its sessions can be brief.  In fact 15 to 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide the fitness equivalent of 40 to 60 minutes of continual-speed cardio.  Best of all, research indicates that short periods of high-intensity exercise are better for caloric expenditure than longer steady-state periods, giving you more fat-burning bang for your buck each minute during (and for quite some time after) your workout.”

I enjoy interval training, not only for the increased fat burn, but to beat the cardio bordem.  The sessions keep me engaged and focused the whole time.  I tested out the treadmill interval routine listed below.  On paper, it looks quite easy, but once I got into it, it was a great challenge.  You need to pay attention to your body when trying out these routines.  RPE means Rate of Perceived Exertion.  This is a way to monitor the intensity of your workout without equipment.  The most common RPE scales run from one to 10, with one representing little or no activity and 10 being maximum all out exertion.  Your RPE is a bigger factor in your fat-burning success than following the incline, speed and resistance exactly.  If you feel dizzy or not challenged, lower or raise one or more of your exercise variables until your RPE matches what is reflected in the routine.

Treadmill Intervals
Minutes Speed Incline RPE
0-3 3.5 3 4
3-5 4 3 4-5
5-7 5 3 5-6
7-9 4 4.5 4-5
9-11 5.5 4.5 6
11-13 4.5 4.5 5
13-15 6 6 6-7
15-17 5 6 6
17-20 4 6 5
20-22 5.5 4.5 6
22-23 7 4.5 7-8
23-24 6 4.5 6
24-25 5 3 5-6
25-27 4 3 4-5
27-30 3.5 0 3
       
Elliptical Intervals
Minutes Resistance Incline RPE
0-2 4 0 3
2-5 5 3 4
5-7 6 3 5
7-10 7 6 5-6
10-12 7 8 6-7
12-15 8 8 7
15-16 10 8 8
16-18 6 8 6
18-20 8 10 7-8
20-21 10 10 8-9
21-23 8 10 7-8
23-25 6 8 6
25-26 8 8 8
26-28 5 6 5
28-30 4 3 3-4

I like to get 45 minutes of cardio in, so after the treadmill routine, I hopped on the elliptical for the last 15 minutes.  Try a different cardio machine after the 30 minutes to mix it up even more!! 

Good luck and Happy Fat Burning

*Quotes and interval routines are from Oxygen Magazine

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