Interval Exercises - Advantages, Disadvantages, and Effects on Weight Loss

Interval exercises are a great type of training to burn fat without special equipment. You can run both on the street, in a park or use the stairs.

When doing interval exercises, the main thing is not to lose technique and control the alternation of intervals and the heartbeat.

Read on to find out why interval is better than running regularly, its benefits, and its effects on losing weight, as well as you will be able to find a plan of training in intervals for beginners and examples of exercises.

Interval Training: What is it?

Interval training is a type of training that consists of alternating the speed of the exercises between one cycle and another.

Some popular methods of interval training are HIIT and tabata. These workouts involve alternating maximum, medium, and rest intensity levels when performing the exercises.

In the case of interval racing, this means making a quick change in speed. It would help if you run at full throttle first, then in light mode. The duration of each interval is measured in minutes or meters.


Weight loss benefits

A sharp change in intensity levels during interval exercises promotes the synthesis of some hormones, such as growth hormones. This allows not only to lose weight but also to increase muscle mass.

In addition, training in interval mode increases the amount of oxygen used by the body or maximum breathing capacity – VO2. (2)

By doing interval exercises, you build muscular endurance and can burn a maximum amount of calories in a short period.

The technique is used both in professional sports (for example, in the training of soccer players) and to lose weight in people with obesity.

Ultimately, interval running allows you to burn more calories than running a significantly shorter training duration.

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Interval Races for Beginners

The ideal for beginners who decide to run in intervals is to start running on a track with a distance mark. However, you can also run on the street or in a park. The main rule of thumb is to make a speed change every 200-400 meters or every minute.

When doing interval exercises, a beginner should always start with a preliminary physical warm-up and joint preparation; this takes at least 5-7 minutes.

An interval training does not take 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the physical form of the athlete. To get good results in losing weight, you should do it at least 2-3 times a week and supplement it with a proper eating plan.


Novice Interval Training Plan

An interval training plan should consist of about 3 phases—first, warm-up. Then the exercises themselves: jogging (1 minute) or bodyweight exercises and walking at a slow pace (1 minute) and in the end, stretching. In total, it should consist of about 15 – 30 minutes.

Example of interval training plan:

  • Warm-up exercises – 5 minutes.
  • Fast jogging, sprints (1 minute), running at full throttle (1 minute).
  • Walk (1 minute)
  • Repeat five times
  • 10 burpees at full speed
  • Walk 1 minute
  • Repeat four times
  • Stretching


Advantages and disadvantages of interval exercises

Interval workouts that include bodyweight exercises have excellent weight loss benefits. So it has been used to reduce obesity in children and people with high levels of a sedentary lifestyle.

In addition, in HIIT training, both intensities are alternated, allowing the development of both muscle fibers. This fact and the improvement of the cardiovascular system are the main benefits of interval exercises.

Remember that interval running requires an excellent physical condition in the joints. It is not recommended for people with a bodyweight index greater than 30. Running at top speed can be dangerous for the knees.

Direct contraindications or disadvantages to interval exercises are:

  • People with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus.
  • Taking medications for high (or low) blood pressure.
  • Any disease of the cardiovascular system.


Interval training is an ideal method for losing weight and increasing muscular endurance.

An interval training plan involves running and making sudden changes in speed every 1 minute or 200-400 meters. Or include bodyweight exercises alternating their intensity.

The main advantages of the technique are rapid fat burning and long-term improvement of the cardiovascular system. The disadvantage is an increased risk of damaging the joints, and it is contraindicated for people with uncontrolled diabetes and respiratory problems.

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