At some point, everyone who takes up a fitness routine asks the same question: which type of training should I choose? Finding the best way to train can mean the difference between reaching your fitness goals and underperforming. Different kinds of workouts bring different results, so knowing the right way to train to get the results you want is crucial.
Two major styles of training are endurance training and interval training. But which one is right for you? This blog will compare these approaches, focusing on their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll explore each approach so that by the end of this article, you can make informed decisions about which training style best fits your fitness goals.
Interval training is a type of physical exercise involving alternating between high and low-intensity periods during an exercise session. It is one of the most effective ways to boost overall fitness, strength, and endurance. The principles behind interval training are simple: alternating periods of intense effort with shorter recovery periods. This allows the body to adapt and improve its performance over time.
Interval training is often overlooked as an effective form of exercise, but it should be considered. Interval training has been proven to be an incredibly efficient and time-saving way of working out.
Regarding cardio and strength exercises, interval training can help you maximize your results in a fraction of the time traditional workouts would take. This makes interval training perfect for people who are short on time, as it allows you to complete an effective workout relatively quickly.
On top of that, interval training has been shown to produce greater overall results when compared to steady-state cardio workouts. Studies have found that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can lead to more fat loss than traditional aerobic exercise over the same amount of time. HIIT can also help increase your cardiovascular fitness and strength gains more than steady-state exercise.
Benefits of Interval Training
Interval training is a great way to get fit and stay healthy. It has many benefits that make it an attractive choice for athletes and those looking to increase their fitness levels. Here are some of the advantages of interval training:
- Improved cardiovascular fitness: Interval training can help improve overall cardiovascular health, allowing you to perform at a higher intensity level during exercise.
- Increase in aerobic and anaerobic endurance: By increasing the intensity of your workout, you can burn more calories and push yourself to greater heights of physical fitness. Interval training also increases the efficiency of oxygen delivery to muscles, which means they can work harder for more extended periods without becoming too tired.
- Increased metabolic rate and fat burning: Interval training can also help improve your metabolism, enabling you to burn more calories and fat.
- Time efficiency in a workout: Interval training is a great way to get the most out of your workout time, as it requires shorter periods of high-intensity exercise followed by rest or low-intensity exercise.
- Improved lactate threshold: Interval training can help improve your lactate threshold, which is the point at which lactic acid begins to accumulate in the muscles. This can help you push yourself harder and for more extended periods without becoming fatigued.
Types of Interval Training
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT focuses on short bursts of high-intensity activity followed by rest or lower-intensity work. For example, 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 30 seconds of jogging. This interval training can be done with any activity, from running to weight lifting.
- Tabata: This type of interval training involves performing eight sets of 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest.
- Fartlek Training: Fartlek is a Swedish phrase that translates to “speed play” and involves continually alternating between different speeds during a workout.
Related article: Tabata Training – 4-minute HIIT Workout
Sample Interval Training Workout Plan
Here’s how to start your own interval training workout plan:
- Choose an Exercise: Select a type of exercise that you enjoy doing, and that fits into your lifestyle: walking, jogging, swimming, or even riding the stationary bike can all fit into an effective interval program.
- Set a Timer: Determine how much time you must devote to your workout and set a timer accordingly. For example, if you only have 20 minutes, try setting the timer for eight rounds of 30-second high-intensity bursts and 30-second recovery intervals.
- Push Yourself During High-Intensity Intervals: During the high-intensity interval, push your body to its maximum effort. This is when you will benefit from interval training most, so don’t be afraid to go hard!
- Rest During Recovery Intervals: During the recovery intervals, take a break and allow your body to recover from the intense activity.
- Increase Intensity: As you get more comfortable with interval training, push yourself further by increasing the intensity or duration of the high-intensity intervals.
- Cool Down: Allow time to cool down and stretch after each workout. This will help you recover from the workout and prevent injuries.
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Here’s an example of a sample workout plan for interval training:
Monday: 5 minutes warmup jog or march in place; 8 rounds of 30-second sprint/30-second jog; 5 minutes cool down.
Tuesday: 5 minutes warmup bodyweight exercises (e.g., squats, lunges, jumping jacks); 8 rounds of 30 seconds high-intensity exercise/30 seconds recovery; 5 minutes cool down
Wednesday: 5 minutes warmup bike ride; 8 rounds of a 30-second sprint on the bike/30-second recovery; 5 minutes cool down
Thursday: 5 minutes warmup jog or march in place; 8 rounds of 30-second sprint/30-second jog; 10 minutes of core strengthening exercises such as planks and bridges; 5 minutes cool down.
Friday: Rest day!
Saturday: 5 minutes warmup run or march in place; 8 rounds of 30-second sprint/30-second jog; 5 minutes cool down.
Sunday: Active rest day! Enjoy a light activity such as a long walk or gentle yoga practice with a yoga block.
Disadvantages of Interval Training
The biggest disadvantage to interval training is that it can be quite taxing on the body if not done correctly. It is essential to start with a warmup and cool-down before and after your workout and be mindful of any pain or fatigue you are feeling during the session.
Additionally, interval training can strain the heart and other muscles if done too frequently or aggressively. It is essential to listen to your body’s limits and adjust accordingly.
Remember to start slowly and gradually build up and listen to your body’s limits. When done correctly, interval training can be a great addition to any workout routine.
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Endurance training is a physical activity that requires the body to exert itself repeatedly for an extended period, improving overall capacity and endurance. This type of exercise helps improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness, strength, and power.
The main principles behind endurance training are: building up your aerobic base first, gradually increasing the intensity and volume as your body adapts, and incorporating strength-training exercises into your routine. It focuses on building endurance and improving physical stamina. It involves running, biking, swimming, or any other activity that requires sustaining a certain level of effort over an extended period.
Endurance training is designed to increase the body’s ability to perform exercise for extended periods and can benefit athletes looking to increase their performance. It also helps to improve cardiovascular health and can help reduce the risk of certain diseases. Endurance training is an excellent way for people of all levels to improve their overall fitness, and it’s an essential part of any workout routine.
Endurance training is a popular form of exercise for many because it allows people to challenge themselves in ways they might not have experienced before. It encourages people to push their physical limits and reach new heights in physical performance.
Benefits of Endurance Training
Endurance training improves physical fitness, boosts overall health and well-being, and increases sporting performance. The benefits of this type of training include:
- Increased Cardiovascular Endurance: Endurance training helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, allowing them to work more efficiently together. This will enable athletes to easily perform for more extended periods without tiring.
- Improved Muscle Strength and Power: Endurance training helps to build muscle strength and power, enabling athletes to perform at a higher level. This can help improve overall performance in any sport or physical activity.
- Increased Metabolism: Endurance training increases your metabolism, which allows you to burn more calories in less time. This can help you lose weight and keep it off for longer.
- Reduced Stress Levels: Endurance training helps reduce stress levels by releasing endorphins, hormones that make you feel more relaxed and happy. This can help improve your overall well-being.
- Improved Mental Clarity: Endurance training can also help to improve your mental clarity by boosting your concentration and focus. This can help you stay focused on tasks for more extended periods.
- Improved Flexibility: Endurance training helps to improve your flexibility, as it involves a combination of stretching and dynamic movements. This can help reduce the risk of injuries while exercising or participating in sports activities.
- More Chances To Lift Heavy Weights: Endurance training can help you to lift heavier weights, as it helps to build up your strength and endurance. This can help athletes improve their performance in any sport or physical activity.
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Types Of Endurance Training:
- Long Slow Distance (LSD) Training: LSD training involves performing low-intensity aerobic exercise for an extended period. This type of endurance training is most beneficial for those looking to improve their cardiovascular health and aerobic capacity over a long period.
- Continuous Training: Continuous training involves performing moderate-intensity aerobic exercise for an extended period. This type of endurance training is best suited for those looking to improve their overall fitness level and muscular strength.
- Polarized Training: Polarized training involves alternating between high-intensity interval training and low-intensity continuous exercise. This type of endurance training benefits those looking to increase muscular strength and aerobic capacity.
Sample Endurance Training Workout Plan
Here is a step-by-step guide on starting an effective endurance training workout plan to get you in shape quickly!
- Assess Your Fitness Level: Before beginning any endurance training, taking stock of your current fitness level is essential. Do a brief assessment of your physical strength and abilities, which will help you determine what exercises are best for you.
- Set Your Goals: Once you have assessed your current fitness level, it’s time to set some achievable goals for yourself. Start by selecting a realistic target of how often you plan to work out each week and what exercises or activities you want to focus on.
- Choose Your Exercises: Now that you know your goals, it’s time to choose the exercises or activities that will help you reach them. If you’re looking for a cardio workout, try running, swimming, biking, rowing, or jumping rope. For strength training and muscular endurance, focus on bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and planks.
- Track Your Progress: As you start your endurance training plan, tracking your progress is essential. Keep a log of how often you work out each week and the intensity level of each exercise.
- Warm up & Cool Down: Before getting into endurance training, it’s essential to warm up and cool down properly. Warming up helps prevent injury, while cooling down helps reduce muscle soreness.
Here is a sample endurance training routine to get you started:
Monday: Run for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity. Finish with 5-10 minutes of stretching and cooling down.
Tuesday: Do three sets of 10 reps each for push-ups, pull-ups, squats, and planks. Finish with 5-10 minutes of stretching and cooling down.
Wednesday: Swim for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity. Finish with 5-10 minutes of stretching and cooling down.
Thursday: Bike for 30 minutes at an easy pace. Finish with 5-10 minutes of stretching and cooling down.
Friday: Take a rest day – do some light stretching or foam rolling to stay active and prevent muscle soreness.
Saturday: Do three sets of 15 reps each for jumping jacks, mountain climbers, burpees, and lunges. Finish with 5-10 minutes of stretching and cooling down.
Sunday: Take a rest day – do some light stretching or foam rolling to stay active and prevent muscle soreness.
Disadvantages of Endurance Training
While there are many benefits to endurance training, some risks are also associated with it. Overdoing endurance training can lead to injury, fatigue, and dehydration. Therefore, listening to your body and resting when needed is essential. Also, consult with a doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen.
Endurance training can improve overall fitness levels and give you the energy necessary for everyday activities. The right plan and dedication can help you reach your physical goals safely and effectively.
Additionally, endurance training can lead to improved mental health thanks to a surge of endorphins during exercise. Exercising regularly can reduce stress, improve concentration and focus, and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
What Are Some Key Differences Between Interval And Endurance Training?
Interval and endurance training are distinct and effective exercise methods for improving fitness. Interval training involves alternating between periods of high-intensity sprints and less intense recovery periods, while endurance training typically has a steady pace throughout the workout.
One key difference between interval and endurance training is intensity. With interval training, you’ll be pushing yourself to your limits, while with endurance training, you may be working at a more manageable pace. Another difference is the duration of each session; interval training workouts are often shorter than endurance-focused exercises.
Interval training will help build muscle faster than endurance training. It can also help to increase VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual’s body can use during intense exercise). Endurance training, on the other hand, helps to increase your aerobic capacity and strengthens your cardiovascular system.
Lastly, interval training is excellent for those looking for a quick workout with significant results, while endurance training is better suited for athletes interested in developing their stamina over time. Both forms of exercise have benefits that cannot be ignored; it’s up to you to decide which type of exercise is best suited for your fitness goals.
No matter what exercise method you choose, the important thing is to stay consistent with your routine and ensure you’re getting enough rest and recovery between sessions. Regular practice, interval, and endurance training can improve overall physical health and well-being.
If you’re starting with exercise, it’s important to remember that your body needs time to adjust and build up a tolerance for both interval and endurance training. Mix shorter bursts of intensity with more moderate-paced exercises until you find the best balance.
The Perfect Mix
Endurance and interval training are both useful training methods; the ideal training style is to find a balance between both. Incorporating both types of training into your workout will create a perfect balance for weight loss, toning muscles, and improving cardiovascular endurance. As a result, the exercise would be more flexible, challenging enough to be effective and provide significant long-term health and fitness benefits.
When considering the most effective training approach between interval and endurance training, the choice should align with your fitness goals and preferred workout style. Interval training, characterized by alternating bursts of intense activity and rest, can be likened to the dynamic strategy of a boxer in the ring.
Just as gloves and hand wraps provide essential protection and support for a boxer’s hands, interval training offers quick, impactful bursts that elevate cardiovascular health and build strength.
On the other hand, endurance training, resembling the sustained efforts of a fighter, is akin to the resilience of a punching bag enduring continuous strikes. Just as a punching bag remains steadfast, enduring training fosters stamina and mental determination.
So, whether you lean towards the rapid, glove-clad approach of interval training or the enduring, bag-pounding nature of stamina-building workouts, the key is to adapt your routine to match your fitness aspirations.
Whether you prefer endurance training, interval training, or a combination of both, you will discover that each method has advantages and disadvantages. Endurance training is a good option for people who want to concentrate on cardiovascular maximum while calorie-burning. In contrast, interval training provides a shorter, more effective alternative for increasing muscle mass and tone.
Incorporating both into your workout routine can effectively create a perfect balance between the two workout styles. Regardless of your chosen approach, it is paramount to note that consistency and hard work will guarantee the desired results.