The Science of Interval Training

People are always looking for the key to getting in shape quickly without spending all their time in the gym. Science has provided their answer: interval training. Research shows that interval training increases fitness and burns more calories over a short period of time than steady-state cardio.

Interval training is defined as a form of physical training that consists of short periods of exercise varying in intensity (difficulty) with short periods of rest (recovery) in between. Interval training is a critical component of the science behind Orangetheory Fitness workouts. Their interval-based workouts are composed of 30 minutes of cardio and 30 minutes of strength training arranged differently each workout. Interval training breaks up the monotony of traditional cardio training, thereby making it more enjoyable to most participants.

A 2017 study by The Mayo Clinic reported some surprising findings that spoke to the benefits of interval training. For one, it suggests that interval training is not only appropriate for all ages, but that it may be even more beneficial for older participants. The study showed that this style of training had significant effects all the way down to the DNA of individual cells. Participants 65 years of age and older showed boosts to their muscles ability to produce energy. Additionally, it triggered new growth in muscles, which is huge considering the unavoidable muscle loss brought on by age.

In comparing groups of participants, the study showed that those who adopted higher- intensity interval training programs showed improvement to their aerobic fitness, leg strength and blood pressure compared to those who adopted longer workouts at moderate intensity for the duration. Furthermore, those who adopted the interval training program showed what the study called a “stick-with-it” rate much higher than others, meaning they maintained a more consistent workout schedule long after the study was concluded. This suggests that interval training breeds more enjoyment versus traditional, steady-state cardio training. Orange theory embraces the science of interval training by including it each workout. This translates to members of all ages and fitness levels participating in a results-driven, science-backed program that keeps them coming back week after week.