There are many different types of gym-goers. In my first stages of fitness, back when I first started working out, I was a slow poke. I was the lady on the bike for a half hour slowly spinning away. I wanted to take my time for a few reasons.
The Tortoise Workout
One, I didn’t want to hurt myself. I was out of the fitness scene for a while and I wasn’t about to jump right back into it. Secondly, I was more so watching everyone else. I didn’t pay too much attention to what I was doing, rather to those around me. All the men grunting and checking out the women’s sneakers. And lastly, and most shamefully, I was lazy., I didn’t want to be there. I’d rather be at home with my family eating dinner or playing with my daughter over sitting there on a dumb bike.
That was just a phase. I think a lot of beginners go through that just in order to get acquainted with the gym experience. As that phase passed a new and rather opposite phase vastly approached. I rushed through every single exercise I did.
The Hare Workout
This phase was odd. I had the motivation to go to the gym and do work, but I hurried through it. I Thought that the better I understood these machines and the stronger I got, I was supposed to get through them faster.
Both kinds of exercisers receive both pros and cons for the way they work out. While both are better than no exercising at all and still offers similar health benefits- lower risk of heart disease, protection against Type 2 diabetes, and weight loss- you’re not ever really giving your muscles a fair chance to grow.
A Balanced Workout
I finally found a trick how to balance the two. I learned that both were wrong from a friend who’s a trainer at the gym I went to. He informed me that I have to find a happy medium otherwise it’s kind of a waste of time. He taught me about interval training workouts.
This workout was a mix of high intensity exercising and easy recovery.
High Intensity workout training isn’t anything new. For years some of the world’s best athletes use interval training routines to improve their performance.
But new research proves that an interval training workout with steep peaks and valleys can dramatically improve cardiovascular fitness and raise the body’s potential to shred fat.
Interval training isn’t for everyone. “Pushing your heart rate up very high with intensive interval training can put a strain on the cardiovascular system, provoking a heart attack or stroke in people at risk,” said Walter R. Thompson, professor of exercise science at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Experts say to consult a doctor before starting interval training is anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure.
Anyone in good health, however, should want to consider doing interval training once or twice a week. Joggers can alternate walking and sprints. Swimmers can complete a couple of fast laps, followed by four that are slower.
There are no rules for the amount of time you push yourself or the time you rest. But know that while the “high intensity” part is supposed to be very hard. Ideally, you shouldn’t be able to carry a conversation and you should be out of breath when you’re intense time is up.
Remember that you need to thoroughly warm up before you attempt high intensity interval training workouts and cool down afterwards. These workouts can be very strenuous and proper stretching is a huge part of interval training. Stretch before and after your exercise and drink a lot of water.