Today we want to show you that it’s possible to get a quick interval training exercise session in, even if you’re busy and spend all your time commuting or at work. The benefit of interval training is that you can do it with almost any exercise, which also means you can do it almost anywhere, and it barely takes any time.
How long does an interval training routine take?
An interval training routine can take as little as 8 minutes out of your day, but most people spend around 20-30 minutes on it. The great thing about interval training is that you can optimize for time, by playing around with your rest and work intervals. It is generally advisable to take five minutes to warm up and a couple of minutes to cool down at the end of your exercise to prevent injury, but there are people who don’t bother with it.
HIIT Interval Buddy offers three standard routines that are commonly used across the industry.
The easy routine (16 minutes of exercise + warmup/cooldown)
This is the routine we recommend for people who are just starting out with interval training. You don’t have to be particularly fit to get going with this one, as the rest periods are quite generous.
It starts with a 5-minute warmup, which should be low intensity. We recommend something like light cycling or jogging. Remember, the objective is JUST to get you warmed up.
After the warmup, we begin with 30 seconds of high intensity exercise. The goal here is to put in your best effort and get your heart rate up to your maximum.
When you’ve completed your 30 seconds of exercise, you take a 90 second rest to recover a little bit.
You will be completing this exercise-rest cycle 8 times before doing your cooldown.
The medium routine (16 minutes of exercise + warmup/cooldown)
The medium routine differs slightly from the easy routine in that it balances the amount of time you spend exercising and resting, to raise the bar for endurance a bit.
As before, it starts with a 5-minute warmup.
The exercise and rest intervals of the routine are both 1 minute, so you’ll be doing twice as much work compared to the easy routine and resting 30 seconds less. It is a reasonable progression that is suitable for people with moderate fitness. Again, the total amount of rounds will be 8, bringing the total exercise time (excluding the warmup/cooldown) to 16 minutes.
The hard routine (12 minutes of exercise + warmup/cooldown)
The hard routine is where we start making a dent in the time spent exercising and really raise the bar. It’s a tough workout that will hopefully leave you sweating buckets, so we don’t recommend doing this one on your lunch break unless you have a grudge against your colleagues or a shower.
We retain the 5-minute warmup, keep the exercise interval at 1 minute, but change the resting period to as little as 30 seconds. This will make sure you get your heart pumping for the full 8 rounds you will be doing!
Where to exercise on your lunch break
Well, the obvious place to be doing exercise is in a gym. It’s a perfectly fine option, but a bit boring. A much more interesting choice that might help keep you engaged is doing your exercise outdoors.
Here at Interval Buddy, we’re lucky to be based near the sea front which makes for a generally beautiful run or bike ride.
If you’re not as lucky as us, you could look for a park if you’re doing calisthenics or find a nice cycling route or running route on something like Strava