High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training, sometimes just called interval training, is a challenging type of cardio exercise that escalates results for both fitness and weight loss. You can do it with any cardio exercise, like on a stationary bike, a real bicycle, or any gym machine.
To do high-intensity interval training, you have to work out really hard (at around 75 to 95 percent of your maximum intensity), for a short interval. Then, do a longer, less intense interval at about 50 to 60 percent of your maximum intensity. This shouldn't be considered a recovery interval. It's more like your normal, steady pace you might use if you were cycling for a solid 30 to 50 minutes.
Repeat this alternating pattern for the rest of your workout -- around 20 to 45 minutes. You'll quickly find out how challenging it is! But keep it up, and you'll see results fast.
There are no rules about how long or how intense to do an interval, but generally, shorter and more intense bursts burn more calories. They also challenge your cardiovascular system and muscles more, causing you to get stronger and more fit.
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Sky-Rocket Your Fitness Level
Interval Training on a Stationary Bike Improves Cardio Fitness
Interval training gets your heart rate up. Fast. By pushing yourself to work out almost as hard as you possibly can for a short interval burst, you raise your heart rate up almost to its maximum capacity.
This does wonders for your cardio fitness.
Whereas doing cardio at a steady pace for 30 to 60 minutes does burn calories and help keep you in shape, if you don't push yourself to work harder than your comfortable pace, you won't make significant improvements. Even if your intervals are only 30 seconds long, you'll still challenge your heart and see improvements.
According to an article published in "Bicycle" magazine, cyclists who train using high-intensity intervals rather than steady-paced workouts reach their VO2 max faster, meaning they get a more efficient cardio workout in less time. Short bursts of intensity improves your muscles' ability to take up oxygen efficiently.
Not only does this improve your heart health, but also makes you a stronger, faster athlete.
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Get Killer Legs & Melt Calories
Lose Weight Fast with Stationary Bike Intensity Intervals
Studies show that switching from steady-paced cycling to high-intensity interval training intervals will help you lose weight faster by burn off more fat and building more muscle mass.
When you gain more muscle, your metabolism increases, causing you to burn more calories around the clock whether you're working out or just relaxing.
With all these factors put together, intervals sky rocket your weight-loss efforts -- and, they can shorten your workout time!Credit: Petr Kratochvil
A study done at East Tennessee State University study compared participants doing high-intensity interval training to those working out at one steady pace. The group who did intervals lost 2 percent of their body fat in eight weeks, whereas the steady-paced group didn't lose any body fat.
What's more, the intervals group actually burned 100 calories more after each workout than the steady-paced folks. That's because the more effort you expend in your workout, the more effort it takes for your body to recover afterward.
Cut Time Out of Your Workouts While Increasing Your Results!
To get started with intervals, warm up like you normally would. It's definitely important to get your blood flowing and your heart warmed up before you do any intensity bursts.
After you've warmed up by cycling at a slow pace for at least 5 minutes at a light resistance level, start with a 4 to 6 minute lower intensity interval. Set the bike to a moderate resistance level and pedal at a moderate speed. Just enough to get your heart rate up to about 50 to 60 percent of your maximum, but at a pace you could maintain for an entire workout.
Now you're ready for your first intensity interval. Increase your intensity significantly so that your heart rate spikes up, and maintain this challenging pace for 30 to 90 seconds. To increase your effort, you can either increase your pedaling speed or set a higher resistance on the bike.
Once you're at a higher fitness level, try increasing the resistance and your speed simultaneously for a challenge. At this point, you'll definitely have to lift your bottom off the seat and really put your whole body into it!