Reena - Passion Fit

Why Strength and Interval Training Are Just Important as Cardio

Everyone is extremely busy these days in this very technologically focused, interconnected world we all live in. Therefore, our time is limited, especially when it comes to working out. So how can you get the most bang for your buck in a short amount of time? In my opinion, the answer is a combination of interval training, strength training and cardio.

Now, many people feel cardio is king and effective workouts should be all about high intensity levels, burning the most calories possible and sweating like crazy. While all of that IS very important and should be a significant part of your workout regimen, it is also equally important to mix up high and low intensity levels in order to take your heart rates up and down and include strength training moves to increase your lean muscle mass. Why is this important? It will help balance your body’s ability to hit it’s peak performance, go into recovery mode and then hit it’s peak performance again. Also, adding in strength training and increasing lean muscle means your metabolic rates will increase, thereby allowing you to burn more calories around the clock, even when you’re sleeping! That sounds like a pretty good deal to me. 🙂

Here are some examples of interval training exercises you could do 1-2 times per week:

1. Running at an easy, steady pace for 3-5 minutes, sprinting at full speed for 1 minute, running at an easy, steady pace again for 3-5 minutes and sprinting at full speed again for 1 minute and so on

2. Doing a set of power jumps for 10 seconds, followed by standing squats for 30 seconds, followed by power jumps again for 10 seconds, followed by standing squats again for 30 seconds and so on

Here are some examples of strength training exercises you could do 1-2 times per week:

1. Tricep kickbacks with one arm at a time and/or both arms using dumbbells, keeping your elbow back and using it as a hinge as you push the weight in towards your chest and back

2. Bicep curls with dumbbells and your elbows tucked in towards your body while alternating standing 90 degree lunges on each leg to also work the quadriceps

3. Overhead presses with dumbbells at 90 degrees on the way down to work the deltoids

4. Upper body, lower body and core strength work through side planks with a raised leg and arm on each side

Anyway, these are just a few examples and ideas you could incorporate into your workouts to make them more effective and efficient. The most important things to remember are to consult your doctor before trying any new exercises if you have any health concerns, get your heart rates up and down and hit all the major muscle groups – triceps, biceps, deltoids, pectorals, trapezius, lower back, core and entire abdominal wall, quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, etc. You’ll be challenging yourself and as a result, will feel stronger, leaner and fully toned throughout your entire body.

According to Jacque Ratliff from the American Council on Exercise in a recent article in Reuters, “Muscle strength, increased bone mineral density and increased strength in the connective tissues or tendons and ligaments are among the benefits of strength training.”

That’s it for tonight my friends. Enjoy your weekends and try to get in some interval and strength training! Talk to you next time. 🙂

Works Cited: Jaqcque Ratliff, “Strength Training Gets a Makeover From Yesteryear’s Bodybuilding”

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