High-Intensity Interval Training vs. Endurance Training

A common sentiment expressed by the vast majority for avoiding exercise is lack of time. In a drive-through culture of quick fixes, a fitness program has emerged to equip the exercise enthusiast with the necessary tools to achieve results in the most time-efficient manner. High-intensity interval training is a workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and short periods of low intensity exercise. In comparison to traditional endurance training, interval training utilizes less time and achieves greater performance results for its participants.

Endurance workouts are longer in duration; but they are decreased in effort. The steady pace an athlete maintains during an endurance workout allows them to continue their exercise for long periods of time. Endurance workouts require oxygen for energy production. The body uses aerobic energy pathways to provide the body with more energy for extended training. The aerobic energy cycle keeps the hearts rate at a steady pace. This allows more blood to be pumped through the heart, which allows athletes to workout for long durations of time.

High-intensity interval training utilizes short anaerobic exercises followed by recovery periods of low intensity exercise. It uses both anaerobic and aerobic energy cycles, which increases the heart rate for a short period of time and then allows it to rest, enabling athletes to become stronger in shorter periods of time.

The challenging bursts during interval training improve an athlete’s strength and stamina. Endurance training improves stamina but does little to improve strength. Both depend on oxygen as a source of energy; however, only interval training uses anaerobic metabolism. This allows the body to use different energy sources providing an athlete with more power. Each is a cardiovascular exercise that is effective for weight loss; however, interval training provides results quicker than endurance training. Both forms of training include a wide variety of exercises, but interval training allows an athlete to explore a broader range of workouts. Compared to a long endurance workout, interval training is a convenient way of improving physical performance in a short amount of time.

The popularity of high-intensity interval training in today’s society is due to the workout’s effectiveness. The overall progress of an athlete’s abilities can improve over a short period of time, allowing people with busy schedules to adopt this style of training. Although endurance training is a healthy way to maintain a good physical condition, high-intensity interval training is more beneficial to an athlete’s performance.


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