High Intensity?

Want to maximize your results and minimize your time working out? Low intensity long duration exercises have been promoted for years as the best way to burn fat and improve cardiovascular health. All of these things happen. However these same benefits can be achieved with high intensity work which actually has been shown highly effective for fat oxidation and improving VO2max (aerobic capacity).

Intervals can be done with near any modality; row, bike, swim, run, lift, push, pull you name it.

One example of high intensity interval training that can be incorporated is a Tabata Interval which is comprised of 20 seconds of 100% effort followed by 10 seconds of active recovery (easy pace) repeated for 6 to 8 rounds. The total time spent working is 3-4 minutes.

Here is the full Tabata Protocol:

5 minutes of warm-up (low-moderate intensity)

8 intervals of 20 seconds (high intensity) work/ 10 seconds active rest

2 minutes cool-down (low intensity)

This is one of many ways of doing high intensity work.

Try adding 1-2 higher intensity days a week and see how things change. A variety of intensities is how to gain the best results. As a degree of risk is involved with exercise make sure to check with your physician before beginning any new program or drop by the Fitness Staff office for a Free Goal Assessment.



Perry, C.G.R. et al. (2008). High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle. Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, 33, 1112–1123.

Tabata, I. et al. (1996). Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on anaerobic capacity and VO2max. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 28, 10, 1327−1330.

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