Sunday, June 27, 2010

getting bridal buff with interval training

Sasha, from, contacted me to do a guest post related to physical fitness for brides to be....I was just bummed I didn't get this information soon enough for my wedding!!  I battled with body image and trying to work out/be healthy in the months and weeks leading up to my wedding (as luck should have it, those were the busiest months of my medical school career, so I wasn't able to devote more than 20 minutes or so to physical fitness a few times a week!)  I will share what kinda worked for me soon.  Thanks for this advice Sasha!

The time between your engagement and wedding are no doubt a whirlwind of planning, and even having a lot of help from other people still leaves most brides-to-be wishing to add more hours to the day. In addition to the many appointments, there is still gym time to be logged, and unfortunately for many of us, this may get pushed down the list. Weather you work with a trainer or on your own, there's always the need to get more results in less time.

Lately, experts have been reminding us about interval training, which gives the busiest among us hope for even better gym pay off. Although fitness advice seems to change all the time, serious athletes and Olympians have been doing interval training for decades, and seeing about twice the results of a regular cardio workout. It's beginning to come into the spotlight again, with people having less and less time to fit a traditional workout into their day.

An article from NY Times online says experts believe adding interval training just a few days a week will show great improvements in fat burning and endurance as opposed to a long continuous cardio workout. These studies have been done with young adults (in varying degrees of physical fitness) using stationary bikes and treadmills. The results showed that all subjects saw about a 36% increase in fat burned in a short interval training session as opposed to longer moderate cardio session.

Experts believe results like these can be duplicated on various pieces of  fitness equipment and outdoor activities. While there isn’t an exact plan to stick to, you could cut your hour or so moderate session to 25 minutes, consisting of 4minute bursts with 3 minutes of recovery in between. It could also be 1 minute bursts with 3 minutes recovery. What's important is that you experience intense times of working at about 85% capacity, and then moderate to light exertion to get the heart rate almost back down to normal before starting the cycle again.

The fat burning and cardiovascular results are shown to be evident in just a few weeks, so even if you are in the final wedding countdown, you could surely benefit from the boost switching to intervals would provide. Remember that it's important to warm up beforehand, and that while you should feel breathless, you don’t want to work your self to exhaustion. Those of you who work out on your own or have home gyms can consult a doctor or trainer for further advice and recommendations that are personalized to your fitness level, schedule, and goals. 

- By Sasha Britton

1 comment:

  1. I've been doing interval training four days a week for almost a month now. I feel like I could easily join the Army if I wanted to, or at least hold my own in a bar fight.

    My trainer (who trains a group of six-eight of us at a time) sets up four stations around the gym. It's like musical chairs. When the music starts, we do 50 sec. of killer working out, when the music stops we get a 10 sec. break to recover and high-tail it our next station before the music starts back up. The stations vary between planks, push-ups, V-sit/sit ups, ab tucks (on the fitness ball), squats, lunges, dead-lifts, just whatever he comes up with that day. We run through the stations several times. Our workouts last a total of 30 minutes, but you feel as if you've left a pound of sweat on the floor. It is INTENSE, and I love it! I highly recommend interval training!



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