Intervals for Cardio


Beginner Interval Training Workouts

The interval workouts provided below are designed with the beginner in mind, so the rest intervals are twice as long as the work intervals to allow plenty of time for recovery in between the work intervals. Even though these intervals are for beginners, do not take them lightly. They are still very effective for improving fitness and burning fat, and they can be performed at high intensity if you wish. Go ahead and give some of them a try, there is plenty of variety to keep you motivated. I highly recommend using an interval timer to time the intervals and get the most out of your workouts. Safe training always comes first, so if you find any of the interval workouts too intense you can just slow your pace of exercise during the work intervals or even quit the workout altogether.

The object of interval training is to push yourself during the work intervals and back off during the rest intervals. You'll notice that each work interval gets a little harder than the last one and completing the last few of them will be tough if you're pushing yourself hard enough.

Interval training can be performed on a variety of cardio equipment or with any suitable physical activity. Always warm up before performing intervals and cool down afterwards.

Interval Intensity
Beginners should first perform the intervals at moderate intensity and then they can try the intervals at high intensity only after they have become conditioned enough to perform high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is not for everyone, and moderate intensity intervals are still very effective for reducing body fat and improving fitness.

Training Frequency
Recommended training frequency for all interval workouts is 2-3x per week.

Short Intervals - For Speed & Strength

Work-Rest Intervals (seconds)   Sets     Time (minutes)
15-30                                   10-12     7.5-9
20-40                                    8-10      8-10
25-50                                    8-10     10-12.5

Medium Intervals - For Overall Fitness

Work-Rest Intervals (seconds)   Sets     Time (minutes)
30-60                                    6-8       9-12
35-70                                    6-8      10.5-14
40-80                                    6-7      12-14
45-90                                    6-7      13.5-15.8

Long Intervals - For Endurance

Work-Rest Intervals (seconds)   Sets     Time (minutes)
60-120                                  5-6      15-18
65-130                                  5-6      16.3-19.5
70-140                                  5-6      17.5-21
75-150                                  5-6      18.8-22.5
80-160                                  4-5      16-20
85-170                                  4-5      17-21.3
90-180                                  4-5      18-22.5