Precision Nutrition System

Precision Nutrition System
Healthy Eating For Fat Loss

Monday, May 03, 2010

Top Interval Training Intervals for Fat Loss

This weight loss tip comes from a recent interview with Craig Ballantyne, creator of Turbulence Training and strength and conditioning coach Jason Ferrugia.

JF: I know you are a big fan of interval training. What are your favorite methods of interval training?
CB: Sprinting is the best method, without a doubt. So whether it’s running intervals on the track, uphill sprints, or treadmill running, that’s clearly the most effective method. Moving your own bodyweight over a distance is the true definition of work, and that can be done at a high intensity.
Strongman methods are also top-notch. Pushing the truck, pulling the sled, flipping the tire, these are all great ways to do your interval training.

A little word of caution here though, as both sprinting and strongman training methods can be very intense, so you do need to warm-up more than adequately. Don’t just jump into sprinting outside or you could strain a muscle. And be conservative with the volume. If you haven’t done truck pushing intervals in 6 months, or ever, don’t do 5 or 6 of them because you’ll be puking your guts out. That being said, both of these methods are great because you are doing a lot of work in a short amount of time.

My next two favorite methods are bodyweight training and cycling. Both can be done with less need for an extensive warm-up, but both will really help you slash the fat.

I’ve been on a big bodyweight kick over the past year and it includes some very tough bodyweight interval circuits. It’s great “real-world” conditioning for athletes, and everyday people. The bodyweight workouts and circuits can be humbling, but build “everyday” strength.

I’m also partial to stationary cycling. Because you are cycling against a resistance you can do a lot of work. Doing a lot of high-intensity work means burning a lot of energy during the training the session and after (what I call putting your body into Turbulence). Just be careful with overuse injuries on the bike…as being in that hunched position can be rough on the low-back and can tighten up the psoas and rectus femoris muscles.

Rowing is okay for interval training. And simple walking at faster speeds or inclines is perfect for beginners. Remember that interval training is relative. What is an interval for me might not be an interval for you, or for Lance Armstrong.

Elliptical training machines are useless for intervals. These things are one of the biggest wastes of space in commercial gyms today.

As far as timing goes, there is no one best interval length for fat loss. I use everything from 20 seconds to 3 minutes for the length of the work interval. For the shorter sprints, I use 60-90 seconds rest, and for the longer aerobic intervals (i.e. 2-3 minutes) you would rest an equal amount of time as the work interval lasted. These are excellent not only for fat burning but for improving sport-specific conditioning.

One thing that has never made sense to me is the Tabata protocol for intervals (and if you don’t know what it is, don’t worry about it). The rest intervals are too short to allow high quality work…and that’s what Turbulence Training is all about – quality over quantity.

Turbulence Training best abs exercisesAbout the Author
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week.

For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment. Grab a free 4 week TT workout program, just click the link below.

Turbulence Training Workout

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