Tired of spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical? Ready to see some results? It’s time to try Interval Training. With a long list of benefits, this type of training is just want you need to see significant changes in your body and have fun!

Benefits of Interval Training & How to Start | Burpees for Breakfast

Benefits of Interval Training & How to Start

Today’s post was originally published on October 19, 2015!! I updated the graphics and some of the content to make it even better! Enjoy!

We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results.’ This phrase tends to come to mind when I see ladies at the gym on the treadmill or elliptical day after day. Or when I have participants in my class continually use the 2.5# weights, when they can clearly lift heavier.

For me, I workout not only to reap the benefits of physical activity, but I also want to become faster, stronger, and more shapely. I know many women at the gym want to lose weight, to tone up, to look better in a bikini…or their skinny jeans. We want to workout to be a better version of ourselves.

So, it baffles me why we continue to lift the same weight or spend the same amount of time on the treadmill, when we are not seeing the results we desire (Note, workouts are not the only factor when it comes to body change).

Especially if we aren’t having fun. I’m a firm believer that workouts should be enjoyable.

Why not switch things up? What if there were a type of training that has the potential to yield quicker and more significant results, provide amazing benefits, and take less time then when is spent on those cardio machines?

Related: Cardio or Strength Training? Which Comes First? 


Nearly half the workouts on the blog are interval training HIIT style workouts. (Looking for a workout, check out the Workout Index!)

One reason I love interval workouts is because I am constantly challenging my body. Squat jumps for 45 seconds, rest 30 seconds, then back at it with push ups for 45 seconds.

When I’m short on time, interval workouts are my go-to. If I am pushing my body at 75-85% of my max at each interval, I’m still getting in a solid workout in 20 minutes, instead of spending 45 minutes on the treadmill.


Studies link interval training with a long list of benefits, some of which include:

  • Greater EPOC (Excessive Postexercise Oxygen Consumption – a state in which the body’s metabolism is elevated after a workout, aka, more oxygen consumed after a workout, which means more calories are burned) [1, 2, 3]
  • Boosts Metabolism [1, 2]
  • Produces a greater decrease in weight loss, BMI, and waist circumference [1]
  • Builds lean muscle tissue quicker than steady state [1]
  • Provides numerous cardiovascular, metabolic, and skeletal-muscle benefits [1]

A quick note on EPOC that was discussed in this post: We can call this {EPOC – Excessive Postexercise Oxygen Consumption} the ‘afterburn’, meaning you are burning more calories just hanging out, post workout. I read this study done by University of South Whales that worked with 45 overweight women and had then do cycling sprint intervals, three times a week for 15 weeks. The researchers found “Intermittent sprinting produces high levels of chemical compounds called catecholamines, which allow more fat to be burned from under the skin and within the exercising muscles. The resulting increase in fat oxidation drives the greater weight loss.”


There are a couple different ways you can start incorporating interval training into your workouts.

If you are loyal to the dreamill or elliptical (side note: I just used the treadmill to walk the other day while listening to a podcast and I was DYING. Had to move to the elliptical and the same thing happened! Outside walks are my fav!), you don’t have to break up YET. Instead of doing steady state cardio every time you hit the gym, start doing intervals.

You can start with doing a 1 to 1 work to rest ratio to get comfortable. Then you can play around in decreasing rest and increasing work OR increasing rest if you are pushing it with your work interval.  Perhaps you start with 1 minute of a faster pace, then 1 minute of a recovery pace. As you progress, you might eventually move to :45s of work and :15s rest.

Try adding an incline, structuring your interval around the incline.

If you are ready to start seeing other other pieces of equipment at the gym, start with 2 – 3 days of interval training per week. You can still hang out with the dreamill on the other days. Pick a couple of the blog workouts to start with, knowing that you can always switch your workout / rest ratio, depending on your fitness level.

The goal is to challenge yourself. To get your heart rate up, then recovery quickly, so you can go for the next interval.

Related: Does Lifting Burn As Many Calories As Cardio? 

Benefits of Interval Training & How to Start | Burpees for Breakfast

Don’t forget to PIN the infographic above as your reference!


My interval timer is on my list of must-need fitness equipment. I used it everyday when I was working at the gym and I use it frequently in my own workouts. I even have 2! If you don’t want to purchase a timer, there are other apps that you can use!


Do you enjoy interval training?!
Are you Team Treadmill or Team Equipment?!