How To Lose Weight Faster With Interval Training

Interval Training for Weight Loss


Not too long ago, I had the privilege to write a column in on the subject of bike trainers to lose weight. In the comments section there was a bit of a discussion on the subject of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as a means to maximize weight loss.

In this article I’d like to dig deeper into what defines HIIT, some of its benefits, and a few more example workouts that a person could do on an elliptical machine, a rowing machine, a stationary bike trainer, or a host of other exercise equipment.


Interval Training for Weight Loss


What Is This HIIT?

A quick excursion over to Wikipedia reveals that ‘real’ HIIT is closely defined as multiple short bursts within a workout, interspersed with efforts done at a medium intensity. The entire workout shouldn’t take more than 15 to 20 minutes.

Good for HIIT…but there’s a bigger ‘interval’ world than that. I know this because interval training has been a mainstay during different times in my life. Times when my objective was to run track races as fast as possible or to ride bike races faster than my opponents or to coach others to do these things.

Although it seems as though the mainstream fitness world is just now getting turned on to intervals, there’s nothing new about the concept. However, the ‘abbreviated’ form of intervals known as HIIT won’t be sufficient to get a competitor much further than the back of the pack.

A little bit later in the article I’ll give a couple of examples of HIIT and the type of intervals used by competitive athletes.


Kick Start Your Weight Loss Efforts With HIIT

For exercisers who’d like to increase the rate at which they’re losing weight, a few sessions of HIIT per week will work wonders. The ‘magic’ is in what happens even long after the workout has ended.

Allow me to relate my personal experience to illustrate how intervals can accomplish what strict cardio training can’t…or at least what takes a whole lot more effort to accomplish with cardio training.

After running my last race long ago at the 1984 Olympic Trials marathon, I stayed in shape running 5 to 10 mile runs at a cardio level of exertion. But although I was maintaining a good fitness level, my weight was inching upward.

It wasn’t until my kids started to run competitively that I again incorporated higher intensity runs in the form of intervals into my exercise regimen. Running alongside them when they did hill repeats was a whole different world than just running at a steady pace.

One of the great effects of the workouts was that my metabolism remained elevated for hours after those ‘interval’ sessions. Well into the evening, my heart rate would still be about 20 beats per minute higher than normal.

And along with the elevated heart rate came a burning of body fat. What hours of cardio running couldn’t accomplish, a few sessions of interval workout got done.


How About Some ‘Interval’ Examples?

Now that I’m involved in cycling, many of my interval workouts are done on my Kurt Kinetic fluid trainer. While I love that particular model, another high quality trainer like the CycleOps Fluid 2 will serve handsomely as well.

A short disclaimer– Any time you initiate an exercise program it is wise to clear it with your doctor. This is particular appropriate with interval training since this style of exercise is quite strenuous.

Here’s a ‘classic’ short High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout-

  • 5 minutes easy pedaling.
  • 10 minutes, alternating very hard 10 second efforts with 10 seconds of easy spinning.
  • 5 minutes easy pedaling.

Here’s the type of interval training that an athlete competing in bike races would do-

  • 10 minutes easy pedaling.
  • 2 minutes hard pedaling, followed by one minute easy pedaling.
  • 4 minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • 6 minutes hard pedaling, followed by three minutes easy pedaling.
  • 8 minutes hard pedaling, followed by four minutes easy pedaling.
  • 6 minutes hard pedaling, followed by three minutes easy pedaling.
  • 4 minutes hard pedaling, followed by two minutes easy pedaling.
  • 2 minutes hard pedaling.
  • 10 minutes easy pedaling.

The first example is what can be done to kick-start a person’s metabolism into burning fat for hours after the workout. The second example is the kind of torture that serious athletes have to do to get the most out of themselves to compete at the top of their potential.

There are innumerable variations of ‘interval’ training, one of which may add an element of intensity you’ve been missing from your workouts. If you’re looking to burn off body fat, this style of exercise has a lot of merit.

You should think about giving it a try.


About the Author:

Ron Fritzke - bike trainersDr. Ron Fritzke looks for and writes about cycling gear, always on the lookout for the best bike trainer, on his site, Besides his private Chiropractic practice, he’s on the Sports Medicine team at the College of the Siskiyous. A former 2:17 marathon runner, he now races his bike in Northern California





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    Gabriel Gutierrez

    I understand that losing weight is not easy you need to be patience and do exercise daily to gain a sexy body..


    This type of workout is appealing because the intervals make it easier to swallow mentally, in my opinion. I usually avoid exercise because I think about it too much and talk myself out of it. These short bursts would make it less cumbersome.

    I also really like the mix of content on this blog. There are health and food articles mixed with blogging tips and it stays interesting for a lot longer than average. Great work!


    nice post…i like it, very usefull. Good website for good thinkings… 🙂


    i don’t know before if there are a lot of gain from pedaling. i think it just for fun, btw thank for the sharing


    I LOVE interval training. My brother is a personal trainer and he introduced this method to me several years ago. I had created my own workout and diet routine to lose some weight and it all went great until I hit the dreaded plateau. My brother sent me some workouts that used this method and I dropped the last few pounds super fast.


    I’m not a cyclist, my husband is but we both run and do interval training and I can attest to the difference it makes. My husband also races bikes in NoCal and does interval bike training. I am excited to pass this article along.


    This was a very interested article i can see that you are into bicking but to be honest I have never heard of “HIIT” before this is my first time hearing that it actually help people to lose weight. But the thing is most people aren’t going to be so interested in that type of method because for one it’s too tiresome to do and two is looks too hard to part-take into this type of trainging.


      Hi donnau1,

      Your comment is practically impossible to understand. Regarding problem #2…if you find it too hard to capitalize ‘i’ and to check for simple spelling errors such as ‘trainging’, I’m sure you’d find it too difficult to do interval training. 🙂



    Hi Ron,
    I found Interval training is a great help for improving in my daily jogging. I believe that its absolutely necessary for making progress in speed and duration.

    Hope to continue improving.

    Thanks for your tips


    I can personally testify to the effectiveness of HIIT, the only problem with it for me is sometimes it is hard to motivate yourself to perform it as it is so intense. Good article explaining this wonderful type of interval training


    Michael- I agree about some of the dread before the workout. Sometimes I ‘trick’ myself by striking an internal agreement that I’ll only go easy if I feel like it. Of course, once I get going all bets are off and I’ll usually end up working out very hard.


    Great post on cycle training. My husband loves cycling and want to loose weight also. But few hours of cycle he gets tired. But now following your mentioned way I am sue he will be able to achieve his target of weight.


    Tineke- I love the comment about Ms. Tomato head. You’ve made a good observation. I suppose it’ll be either ‘keep it indoors’, or ‘wear a disguise’. 🙂


    Dan- What you outline would be a good HIIT-style workout. You can do intervals using any form of exercise that gets your heart-rate elevated.

    Don’t forget to do a warm-up and a warm-down in addition to the “30 seconds hard, two minutes easy” part of the workout.


    I love HIIT! I usually do it on a stationary bike, but I sometime adapt the workout to sprints. I love being able to get in a killer workout in such a short time, and still being able to feel it the next day.

    Kiko Rex

    I’ve been interested in interval training for a while now; I’m more of a “bodybuilder,” though a hardgainer, and I’ve read a few things here and there about the subject for bodybuilders. Any tips you could give for someone trying to use interval training for gaining muscle mass? To your knowledge, is it any better in terms of bulking up than traditional bodybuilding?

    Second, and this is more for my ladyfriend: I know you say this is good for weight loss, but does that include the stubborn tummy area? Aforementioned ladyfriend has gotten most everything in shape, but she’s having a time completely losing the midsection.

    Thanks for the insight!

      Ron Fritzke

      Kiko, I wish I could be of more help. My experience has been using intervals for fitness and for weight loss. I know that there is a lot of info out there in the world of bodybuilding on the subject of building mass…I’m just not privy to it.

      I’m not too sold on the idea of spot reducing; it’s been my experience that fat comes off uniformly, with some areas being more stubborn than others. I don’t know that specific exercises take fat off specific areas of the body.


    This is great way for lose weight easily and also get training for HIIT. It also makes body fit. Thanks for given weigh lose concept.

    Lilian Mushonga

    Excellent Post! Losing Weight is something that should be planned ahead of time as it is important to follow the right weight loss program and to stick to the goals for a long term solution.



    You’ve got that right! The bursts of effort in a soccer game are great interval training.

    Additionally, the change in direction is a great way to put a variety of stresses on the muscles…making for a very healthy ‘all body’ workout.

    Thanks for the comment,


    Thanks Tareq for your feedback! This post was written by Ron and he is an expert in this theme.

    Perhaps similar themes could come in the future.


    Eric, Sounds like intervals are treating you well. Keep up the good work.

    Comments are closed