Interval training allows you to incinerate loads of fat in shorter periods of time than traditional cardiovascular exercise. Sometimes, with the distractions of the gym, or just plain lack of motivation, we forget to incorporate those short bursts of increased speed and effort while on those cardiovascular machines, thus, not providing us with the full fat and calorie burn we should be achieving while exercising. I have been using a very simple method for the past couple of years that has worked for liked a charm for treadmill workouts, elliptical trainers, stationary bicycle, the stair climber, and even outdoor running!
Here’s what I do: I download all my favorite songs and make sure I am satisfied with the music playlist on my Ipod Shuffle and then head out for my workout. I use the choruses of the songs as my cue to pick up the pace and/or increase the intensity. I try to keep a large variety and volume of music on my IPOD to allow for the intervals to be varied. Best of all, when you have tons of songs, each workout is going to end up being completely different just because the songs you workout to vary (make sure Ipod is on shuffle).
For example, I have several rock songs worked into my playlist that make me naturally reach for the button to increase the level of intensity, or incline if on a treadmill, to make me work harder for the duration of the chorus. This higher incline, or level, makes my strides slower but more challenging, and keeps me synchronized to the beat of the music. Once the chorus is over, I bring the level back to what it was “pre-chorus”, and then repeat the process again until the song ends. Sometimes I increase the levels even more each time the chorus goes on. For example, during chorus 1: level 10, chorus 2: level 11, chorus 3: level 12. With faster, more upbeat, music, I may leave the level of intensity the same for the duration of the song, however, pick up the speed significantly for the chorus. I do this each time the chorus is repeated.
Now, with outdoor running, I follow the same procedure, however, just stick to picking up my speed at the choruses of the songs. I’ve found that with these pick-ups in speed, the average pace of my runs has significantly improved without even realizing it! After a long run, I have at times noticed that I only glanced at my Garmin once or twice and have kept up a pace better than when I’m constantly stressing my times. It may be more of a mind game to focus more on music than time, but it works like a charm for me!
This method of using your favorite tunes to guide your interval training takes the stress off of staring at the elapsed time screen on the gym machine or Garmin, and allows you to focus more on your music. Psyching yourself out is so important when keeping fit and maintaining a health lifestyle.
Let’s face it, the more variety and enjoyment we add to our workouts, the more likely we are to do them.
This method has been quite successful for me over the past couple years and I’m surprised at how many people do not do this already! Maybe I just rely on music to keep me going…so? it works! So, I’m just sharing my little interval workout secrets 🙂
Give it a try!
What are your favorite workout or running songs?
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