Tag Archives: exercise

Interval Training Tips For Beginners

Maybe you are considering getting involved in a resistance training program for the first time. Or perhaps you have been training for quite a while now but find that your weight training has become stagnant. Somebody in either of these categories may be interested in trying one of the most effective types of training out there: interval training. However, if you have never engaged in interval training you really need to heed some interval training tips before jumping into a serious interval training program.

Let us begin this discussion with a brief description of interval training. You should really know what interval training is if you are considering this exciting type of workout. Like the name indicates, interval training is a workout routine that revolves around intervals. Usually, this means that you spend a designated period of time engaged in a high intensity exercise, followed by a designated period of time engaged in a low intensity exercise. In this fashion, your heart rate remains up as you are never fully allowed to rest. Likewise, if you are engaged in a resistance training interval session, your muscles remain contracted, forcing them to grow bigger and stronger.

Now on to some interval training tips: First of all, before you tackle an interval training session, make sure you are in good enough shape to handle the workout. Interval training is not for the faint of heart and it’s a good idea to warm up to interval training. In other words, before you try this training routine you should engage in a regular exercise routine for a period of weeks to work your way up to this strenuous workout.

Next, when you begin your interval training, you need to make sure you are exercising at the right level during both the high intensity and low intensity intervals.  One way of doing this is by pushing yourself to your maximum capacity for one interval, followed by an interval at a slow enough pace to recuperate enough to give it your maximum at the next high intensity interval.  Although this is not a scientific approach to interval training, it is quite effective. Generally speaking, your high intensity interval will last about half as long as your slow interval. This will ensure you are fully rested when it is once again time to push yourself.

Another interval training tip is to never engage in an interval training session without first warming up. Take a running program, for instance, where you alternate sprinting intervals with jogging intervals. It would not be a good idea to jump right into a sprint without first warming up. A good warm up session includes not only stretching but spending a period of time walking at a fast pace followed by a jog before beginning your high intensity intervals.

Interval training can produce substantial results. By incorporating this style of training into your regular exercise schedule you can take a shortcut to a healthier and happier you.

Liven Up Your Interval Training

Interval training is a great way to up the ante on your cardio routines.  But what happens when even your interval training is getting stale?  Is that possible?  Intervals can be quite intense anyway, but sure, it’s definitely possible to get bored even of HIIT (stands for “high intensity interval training”).

So, how do you crank up your intervals?  Or at least get some interval training in that doesn’t feel like the ‘same old, same old’.

Intervals don’t have to be limited to just running but if running is your sport of choice, you can incorporate different kinds of intervals into your training.  Try finding a big hill and doing hillsprints, or finding a sandy beach and doing your sprint training in the unstable sand or better yet, the resistance by adding waves.  Or you can find a big field and sprint to one end and do a slow jog back to the other side (and repeat ).

BUT, if you’re looking to liven it up with different kinds of intervals besides running, then there’s also lots you can do.  Intervals can be done with almost every kind of cardio exercise imaginable.

Hop on your mountain bike and find a good hilly trail to cycle.  Hills add intervals to your training naturally.  Every up hill is your work interval and every trip down is your rest interval.  You don’t even have to time it.  Just keep finding hills and giving it your all on every trip up.

I have a little trick when I’m short on time and need a quick interval workout without leaving home.  Luckily I live in a highrise building in the city with a huge stairwell, so I head to the bottom of the stairwell and climb 20 stories as my work interval, until I hit the top.  Then I punch the elevator button and take a quick ride to the bottom as my rest interval and hit that stairwell again for another work interval climbing to the top.  Eight times doing this takes me 45 minutes and it’s a heck of a great workout.  It works my glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and calves thoroughly and gives my cardiovascular system a major boost in the process.

Another cool alternative for Interval Training is to SWIM it out!  Yes, you can do interval training swimming too.  And, believe it or not, there’s lots of ways to ‘time’ your intervals when you’re underwater.  A cool gadget that’s available now is an underwater mp3 player and there are lots of different brands making these now.  So you can either load in a timed interval mp3 and use that to time your swim intervals or just pick a few songs that have a definite ‘chorus’ and ‘non-chorus’ parts to the songs and swim hard for the chorus and swim easy for the non-chorus parts.

Or, if you don’t have the budget for a swimming mp3 player, just time your intervals by counting your strokes.  Swim hard for 50 strokes and easy for 50 strokes.  Or change your strokes.  Swim hard for 50 meters of front crawl and 50 meters of breast stroke at a slower pace.  This is easier to accomplish in a swimming pool where you hit the wall and turn around for the next 50 meters (for example).  If you’re in a lake or ocean you might try swimming from buoy to buoy.

Another great and extremely easy way to do intervals that you can also do pretty much anywhere is to make sure you’ve got a jump rope with you and just start jumping.  Jump at regular pace for your rest interval and double pace for your work interval.  Count turns of the rope to time it out.  100 fast jumps for the work interval, 50 slow jumps for rest interval.

There ya go.  Interval options to keep you interested and motivated with your interval training for weeks to come. Enjoy the benefits you’re sure to see from all your hard work.

And don’t forget to have fun.

Robert Martin

Essential Equipment For Beginner’s Pilates

For those who wish to exercise in the privacy of their own home, but do not want to have to buy expensive equipment, a wonderful way to reduce stress and tone muscles at the same time is to purchase a few Pilates essentials to get you to practice Pilates successfully!

As a beginner, the Pilates exercise equipment you will need is just some loose fitting clothes, which are as comfortable as possible in order to allow you to move easily. Another essential item is the Pilates mat and that’s all you need to get started.  As you progress to more advanced moves, this article will cover some equipment that should be helpful for you to proceed.

1) The Significance of a Pilates Mat

Most Pilates exercise involves mat work which can be considered to be the basis of Pilates exercises. The best Pilates mat should be thick and durable which can be used in gyms, homes or studios. Most of the Pilates mats are created for protecting and cushioning the spine throughout the mat work regimes.

A Pilates mat can be purchased for a relatively inexpensive price, and for the most part all gyms and fitness centers will have a Pilates mat. There are many companies that sell these mats. If you are interested in purchasing one you can do a search at any search engine.

Pilates mats can come in a variety of styles. For you to get the best ones, you need to check out their sizes, thicknesses, densities, colors, textures and materials used to get total satisfaction. You will find that typical prices for a Pilates mat ranges from US$25 to US$45. In the event you need to transport the Pilates mat to different places buy one that has attached handles and which can be folded.

2) A Pilates ring which is mostly used for Windsor Pilates

The Pilates ring is a stretchable rubber circle that is about 14 inches in diameter on the average. It can come in smaller or larger diameters, depending on what muscles are to be strengthened.

The Pilates ring was invented to sculpt core muscles. Core muscles consist of the abdominal muscles, the pelvic muscles, and the buttocks muscles. The Pilates ring is a safe way to sculpt these core muscles, which is to tighten them through endurance stretching.

In addition the Pilates ring can tone not just the core muscles but other hard-to-tone muscles in the legs. Such an exercise in which leg muscles are tightened is when one lies down on a mat and places the Pilates ring around their ankles and, lifts their legs up and down slowly in order to feel the resistance.

Pilates rings can also help to tone the arm muscles. An exercise that tightens the arms is one in which, in a standing position, the arms are raised straight over the head with the Pilates ring around the wrists and the arms slightly widened.

A participant should use the Pilates ring safely by not trying to strain the muscles too hard, which can lead to injury. These rings come in different resistance types, so it is best to start at the lowest resistance level and build up steadily.

The cost of these rings depends on the size, resistance, and manufacturer.

3) A rubber ball for the abdominal and buttocks exercises

The Pilates ball is important mainly because it is a piece of equipment which is used in so many of the Pilates routines. It helps with many different factors such as helping you gain better balance and to increase the intensity of your workout overall, both which are incredibly important to most people.

If you wish to purchase the Pilates ball, you should be able to find a selection of these balls at any store near to you that sells other forms of the Pilates equipment.

As with other Pilates equipment, if you can’t find it easily then it is a good idea to go into your local gym and ask a professional where you should go. Alternately you can seek help from the internet for all your Pilates essentials.

All the Pilates equipment  is used to add strength and value to your exercises, but you can also perform all the exercises without this equipment and still achieve the desired results although not as fast as you would with the given equipment.