A little experiment in interval training

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been in the midst of moving hell, which has caused my regular exercise to suffer somewhat. Though not as badly as I’d feared — it’s amazing how much walking one does just carrying boxes from one apartment to the car, & from the car into the other apartment. And if lifting all those boxes full of books (we have lots of them) isn’t resistance training, I don’t know what is. And so I still went down a couple of pounds over that time.

But now I seem to be seeing results from an experiment that I tried Monday & tried again yesterday. My experiment involved what’s called interval training, which (as I wrote three weeks ago) is a way of doing cardio (aerobic) exercise in which you alternate a brief period of really fast, intense exercise with a “recovery” period of doing the same exercise at a slower rate. For example, after first warming up: run as fast & hard as you can (on the street or a treadmill) for 30 seconds so that your heart rate is up really fast, then slow down to a more moderate running pace for a minute or two… & repeat this three or four times. I got interested in interval training because from Craig Ballantyne as well as other sources I’ve heard a lot about it being probably better for burning off fat than moderate-level aerobic exercise for the same or even longer duration.

My experiment was with walking. Monday morning I got off at an early bus stop, which I often do to get more exercise. The walk from that bus stop to my workplace takes about 20 minutes. During the walk, three times I really intensified how fast I was walking for about a minute each time. I was wearing a heart rate monitor, & was able to get my heart rate up to about 80 percent of my maximum heart rate capacity. When I slowed down during the “recovery” periods, I was still at about 65 percent of maximum.

I tried it again yesterday on my way home — again, getting off at an early bus stop. Wasn’t wearing a heart rate monitor this time, but I could feel my legs burn during the one-minute fast walking periods. Again, three fast times at one minute each, slowing down in between.

This morning my scale said I was about 1.5 pounds less. It seems to be verified by the better scale at work too. Not ready to claim that loss quite yet… but it certainly gave me pause.

No, not pause: rather, desire to keep it up. Now that we’ve got the worst of the move over, I will be joining a gym where there are stationary bikes & other things I can use to help me with the interval workouts. (Not to mention resistance training.)

One more tool toward fat loss & increased insulin sensitivity.

This entry was posted in Fat loss, Fitness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.