Stoke Fat Burning Metabolic Fire

You don’t have to look too far to get more weight loss dietary advice than you’ll ever be able to consume. There are diets featuring all sorts of foods…everything from grapefruit to steak. But when it comes to advice about the most efficient type of exercise for losing weight, the pickings can be slim.

All exercise isn’t created equal.

Dr. Kenneth Cooper revolutionized the world of exercise back in the early 1970’s with his understanding of ‘aerobic’ exercise. The basic tenet was that sustained sub-maximal effort was good for the heart and lungs.

While some form of aerobic exercise should be done by everyone for the sake of cardiovascular health, there’s another style of workout that will add a bit of turbo-charging to your weight loss efforts…and it’s called interval training.

Stoke The Fat-Burning Fires With Interval Training

After my competitive running years I spent a few years restricting my runs to an aerobic level of effort. Aerobic effort is a level of intensity that can be sustained for the entire length of the session. What I noticed was that my body weight was edging upward.

But when I started doing some ‘interval training’ with my kids, who were training for some races, I noticed something very positive.

My weight started to edge downward.

In our situation, the intervals consisted of about eight repeats of running as hard as possible up a one minute hill near our house. This certainly wasn’t ‘sustained effort’. In fact we could hardly stand up at the top of the hill after each time we attacked it.

But besides the very hot metabolism we were experiencing on the hill, the magic was what was happening for hours after the workout. I noticed that my heart rate was elevated throughout the evening (10-15 beats per minute faster than normal) after one of these workouts and that I’d break into spontaneous sweating even if I was just sitting there watching TV.

Imagine that…there really is a way to burn up fat while watching TV! Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t ‘free fat burning’ time…you pay for it during the workout, but the fact that you’re burning up fat well into the evening makes the harder workout worth it.

A Few Sample Interval Workouts

The variety of interval workouts is vast. The ‘hard-easy-hard’ idea is where the magic is, so a certain amount of creativity is OK. Running, cycling, swimming…any aerobic activity will work.

Hint: All of those exercise gurus who prescribe very specific interval workouts and then plaster their branding on the workout are just more creative and bold than the rest of the exercise world. I suppose ‘creative and bold’ could be used to describe a lot of self-promoters. 🙂

1).  Here’s a very simple, intense version of bicycle interval training (it can be done on everything from an indoor bicycle trainer to a Schwinn 240 recumbent stationary bike

  • 10 minutes easy spinning warm-up.
  • 10 minutes alternating ten seconds of very hard pedaling with ten seconds of easy spinning.
  • 10 minutes easy spinning warm-down.

2).  Here’s a sample running interval workout that mirrors the hill repeats we did years ago.

  • 10 minutes easy warm-up.
  • very hard one minute effort followed by two minutes easy effort. Repeat 8-10 times.
  • 10 minutes easy warm-down.

3).  There are all sorts of variations…here’s another one.

  • 10 minutes easy warm-up.
  • 3 minutes hard with followed by two minutes easy. Repeat 3 times.
  • 2 minutes hard followed by one and a half minutes easy. Repeat 3 times.
  • 1 minute hard followed by one minute easy. Repeat 3 times.
  • 10 minutes easy warm-down.

Because the intensity of interval workouts is elevated, the age-old warning about consulting your doctor before initiating this type of workout is all the more appropriate.

So Throw In Some Surges To Turbo-charge Your Weight Loss Efforts

Throw a few interval workouts per week into the mix and you’ll see a difference in your mission to melt off a few pounds. There are a lot of benefits to doing an interval style of workout now and then. Not only will you add some variety to a ‘vanilla’ exercise routine, but you’ll also ignite that fat-burning furnace…and keep it burning for hours after the wheel on the exercise bike has stopped spinning.

About the author: Dr. Ron Fritzke ran his last race in 1984 at the USA Olympic trials marathon. He’s now a member of the sports medicine team at the College of the Sisiyous in Northern California, and has a private chiropractic practice in Mount Shasta, California. When he isn’t riding his bike to stay fit, he’s writing about cycling related products on his website,


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