What is Interval Training?

What is interval training? It's a great question. And the answer can change your entire perspective on the best way to burn fat fast.

I was reading a list of ways to reduce your gas costs, and one of the items on the list jumped out to me.

“Maintain a steady speed on the highway. Avoid getting stuck behind slow cars where you have to slow down to their pace and then speed up to pass.”

When you drive at a steady pace, your car runs efficiently and you use less gas...


You talk quite a bit about interval training for burning fat fast. But I have to admit, I don’t quite understand it...

What is interval training?

Tony D.

Tony, excellent question. I sometimes just assume that everybody knows what the heck I am talking about... Since you are not the only one who asked, this appears to be one of those times.

So, allow me to alleviate the situation...

What is interval training?

Interval training is alternating short periods of hard exercise with short periods of less intense exercise. These periods (intense and not so intense) are called “intervals.”

I’ll get into a specific example workout below, but before I do that, I want to talk a little about why someone would want to do interval training to burn fat.


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Go back to the car example. The car runs less efficiently when it is stop and go traffic. It burns more fuel that it would normally, if it were humming along at a constant speed.

The same is true for your body. If you hop on the elliptical trainer, and were to go at a constant speed, and your heart rate, though it might be elevated, was constant, you would burn calories.

But, if you add in a short burst of speed, you have to accelerate, you body needs to find energy reserves to get you up to speed, and you burn more calories.

When you slow down, you also expend calories, because most interval training programs are not a gradual increase or decrease in intensity, but rather sudden changes... you need to decelerate fairly quickly.

Your body wants to run as efficiently as possible. That’s why at “cruising speed” you burn less calories. You body has tuned itself to supply the energy you need to complete the workout. As you do that workout more and more, your body becomes accustomed to the workout, and gets even more efficient at supplying energy over time.

However, when you do interval training, you burn fat faster because you keep your body confused. It isn’t sure of what your energy expenditure is from minute to minute, so burns more calories speeding you up and slowing you down.

Here is a great 20 minute interval training routine that is part of my Metabolic Mayhem™ (coming soon) program.

It uses a maximum effort scale, with 10 being exercising at your maximum effort, and 1 being standing still. This is an intermediate workout. To do a more basic version, drop the high intensity portions (the level 9’s) down to a level 8 until you are comfortable with this type of workout.

20 Minute Interval Workout


Intensity Level

0:00 to 4:00 minutes Level 5 (50%)

4:00 to 6:00 minutes

Level 7 (70%)

6:00 to 7:00 minutes

Level 9 (90%)

7:00 to 8:00 minutes

Level 5 (50%)

8:00 to 9:00 minutes

Level 9 (90%)

9:00 to 10:00 minutes

Level 5 (50%)

10:00 to 11:00 minutes

Level 9 (90%)

11:00 to 12:00 minutes

Level 5 (50%)

12:00 to 13:00 minutes

Level 9 (90%)

14:00 to 15:00 minutes

Level 5 (50%)

15:00 to 16:00 minutes

Level 9 (90%)

16:00 to 20:00 minutes

Level 5 (50%)

So, what is interval training? It is short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by short periods of active recovery. But more importantly, it is a way to burn fat faster.

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