Beginner’s Guide To Interval Training part 3

Sirena here, and I’m back again for the third post in our Beginner’s Guide to Interval Training series.

In the first post, we discussed the benefits of interval training. Based on scientific research and my own personal experience in the gym, we discussed how interval training can cut down your workout times and actually help you burn more fat and build more muscle than traditional cardio.

Then in the second post, we went on and I shared with you my very own secrets to building an effective interval workout. Most of what I shared with you is based largely on my experience working as a professional trainer.

Meaning, things that I’ve actually seen work in real life.

And to tie it all together, I’m going to actually give you some of my own personal interval workouts that I currently use with my training clients.  Workouts I’ve used to get athletes in shape for season, to whip brides in shape for their weddings, and to slim down the 20-something year old law student.

Please note that these are actual workouts that I’ve actually done with real clients, whom, may work with me 2-3 times a week.

I also ask that you please be mindful that if you are new to interval training to go at your own pace, and to always, consult your physician before starting this, or any exercise program.

Soooooo, pretty much, if you try these workouts and fly off the treadmill…you promise not to sue me :)

Enjoy!

Effective Beginner Interval Training Workouts
Interval Workout # 1: The Metabolism Booster

(download the free workout here)

Great for: Beginners, or if you’re looking for a classic interval workout. Simple yet highly effective.

Time: 20 minutes

Notes: This workout uses the 1:2 work/rest ratio. To make the workout more challenging, gradually make each interval more intense than the last, i.e. go a little faster each interval.

  1. Warm-up on the treadmill for 3-5 minutes (try to reach 60% of your MHR) keeping the incline between 1-2%. Gradually build up to a brisk walk during the Warm-up
  2. Starting at the 5-minute mark, and increase the intensity of your workout by increasing the speed to an easy jog. If you choose to walk, increase the speed to a brisk walk instead.
  3. Jog or briskly walk for 30 seconds (work)
  4. Follow this up with a 30-60 second walk (rest). This follows the 1:2 work/rest ratio I talk about in part 2.
  5. Repeat this cycle until you hit the 20-minute mark, and begin your cool-down.
  6. Cool-down for 3-5 minutes, allowing your heart rate to recover from the workout.
Interval Workout #2:  Hill Pyramids aka Summit Ave.

(download the free workout here)

Great for: Intermediate workouts, if you’re looking for a great lower body workout.

Time: Around 20 minutes

Notes: Performed on a treadmill. I also nickname this one Summit Ave. If you’re from my neighborhood in Boston, you know what this means.

3 Minutes Warm up: Start with a moderate pace to gradually warm up RPE 3-4
2 Minutes Baseline: Increase incline/resistance and speed to slightly higher than comfortable pace. 4-6% incline. 5
3 Minutes Pyramid Up: Increase the incline 1% every 30 seconds until you reach 10-12% 7
3 Minutes Hill Intervals: Once you get to the top of your hill, keep the incline the same, but lower the speed to recover for 40 seconds.  (Choose a speed that is slower than your “Warm-up” pace) 8-9
Then, increase the speed to a brisk walk or jog for 20 seconds keeping the incline the same (this speed should be slightly higher than your “Baseline” pace)
Lower the speed back down to your recovery pace and repeat the cycle for 3 intervals.
2 Minutes Pyramid Down: When you finish your final hill interval, begin to decrease the incline 1% every 15 seconds until you get back down 4-6%. 7
2 Minutes Baseline: Decrease speed/incline to recover back to baseline 5
Interval Workout #3: Jump Rope Core Blaster

(download the free workout here)

Great for: If you’re short on time, if you want to workout at home or on the road.

Equipment: Jump Rope

Notes: You can substitute any of the exercises between jump rope rounds with a variety of core exercises.

Time: 8-10 minutes

  • Jump Rope: 30 seconds
  • Prone Plank: 30-60 seconds
  • Jump Rope: 30 Seconds
  • Right Side Plank: 20-40 seconds
  • Jump Rope: 30 Seconds
  • Left Side Plank: 20-40 seconds
  • Jump Rope: 30 Seconds
  • Hip Bridges (or single leg): 15 – 20 reps, or 10-12 each leg
  • Jump Rope: 30 seconds
  • Ab Crunches (or some variation of thoracic flexion): 12 – 15 reps
  • Jump Rope: 30 seconds
  • Supermans (or some variation of thoracic extension): 12-15 reps
  • Jump Rope: 30 seconds
  • Oblique Crunches (or some variation of trunk rotation): 8-10 reps

These are 3 great interval workouts that you can start to do on your own and as you progress through the workouts, you can always follow the guidelines I lay out in post 2 to increase the intensity of the workouts.

Click here to download the workouts in a PDF file.

In the meantime, my challenge for you is to try out a workout and let me know how it went in the comment section below.  I’d love to hear your feedback.

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