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Boost Your Cardio and Lose Fat With This 8 Week Cardio Interval Training Progression Program
Interval training is one of THE most effective ways to burn fat while preserving muscle. When using cardio training for fat loss, I recommend it almost exclusively in my programs! This nice thing is, interval training is also one of THE most effective ways to improve your overall cardiovascular capacity as well.
There is a LOT of good information available on what intervals are and how to perform them. But what often seems to be missing is a detailed plan that helps you progress from Point A (just starting out with interval training) to Point B (performing the more challenging interval training techniques).
The trick is knowing where to start and how to progress from there. You can't just jump in and start sprinting up hills without knowing what you're doing and building yourself up to it. That's a good way to not only hurt yourself but exhaust yourself as well!
So in response to this, I've designed an interval training progression plan that gets you started with the more introductory-level types of interval training then gradually moves you into the more intense and challenging interval training techniques.
I'll lay out how many intervals to do, which style of interval training to do and how long to do it for. This progression plan will also give you good variety in your cardio training, which I'm sure you know can get VERY dull if you keep doing it the same way over and over.
You see, just like with weight training, you need to constantly challenge and even shock your body in order to keep making progress. Otherwise, your body simply has no reason to adapt and get better. This plan will do it for you!
The overall goals with this cardio program are fat loss and improving cardiovascular capacity. This type of training is NOT a plan I would recommend if you're trying to build muscle. When training to build muscle, you want to keep cardio training down to a lower maintenance level (once or twice a week at most) and this is not a program that does that.
The program is based on doing cardio training 3 times per week and can be applied to basically any method or apparatus of cardio training, be it running, cycling, elliptical machine, stair machine, etc. Any cardio based sports activity will work as well (e.g. swimming, rollerblading).
Choose whatever cardio activity works best for you, that you enjoy the most or that you'd most like to improve your performance in, e.g. if you're a runner, using running as the activity for your interval training.
You can certainly utilize different cardio activities as you go through the program, e.g. use treadmill running one day then the elliptical machine the next. The real key lies in the intensity with which you do the activities!
Before you start in on the program, I would encourage you to read through the following two articles. They'll help you understand what interval training is all about and introduce you to the different types of interval training.
How To Tighten Your Waist FAST With a Unique Running Technique
You may or may not know this about me but I used to be a long-distance runner. That was about 50 pounds ago... :)
But one of the most useful things I picked up in my time as a runner was a technique for really tightening up the waist fast - especially the love handle area, which is always a target for people.
Relax - I'm not going to make you do any long-distance running! You'll be using this technique with interval training for maximum effectiveness.
The technique I'm going to tell you about does require either a treadmill or a road/track. You want to be keeping a pace that is a fairly fast run but not a sprint.
For me, I set the treadmill speed to 10 and go for 30 seconds per interval - it's about 85% of a full sprint for me - the advantage of the treadmill is that it forces you to keep the same pace. The problem, of course, is that is you need one.
You can do this same technique on the road, though, and calorie-burning-wise, it'll be more effective for the simple reason that you have to propel yourself forward. The treadmill does that for you. It's a tradeoff - this will work on both.
Now, I don't have pictures or video of this technique because, to be honest, it wouldn't really show you anything other than me running. Yee ha.
The whole thing with this is all in how you set yourself while running and how you visualize your stride and body movement. Basically, you have to feel it in yourself rather than see it in action.
So here's what to do while you're running...
1. Run "Tall"
VERY IMPORTANT - Keep your chest high, shoulders back and your back straight - don't let your shoulders hunch forward and don't sag forward. You need to keep VERY good posture for this to work. If you hunch forward, you will compress the abs and lose the effect of this technique.
Imagine like you're a marionette on a string and the string is attached to the top of your head. Someone is pulling up on that string, pulling your torso up and body straight, making you as tall as possible. Run in that position.
As you're running, try to RELAX your entire core. Don't clench it up - concentrate on breathing easily and deeply but not tightening up the abs. Think of it like you're pulling in your abs like a vaccuum, e.g. as you keep your chest high, suck your abs in. Stand up and try this right now - you'll notice that as you breathe deeply and your rib cage rises up, your abs have to relax anyway because they're getting stretched.
Next, think of your upper body and lower body as two separate parts of a machine. The lower body is the propulsion, the upper body is the balance. The abs are the "joint" in between the two.
As you're running, try to "reach" forward with every stride, trying to get as long a stride as possible - basically, trying to get your leg...