You’re a man on a mission – a mission to lose weight and get in shape. You run on the treadmill for 30 minutes. You run till it hurts. And then you wonder…did that DO anything?? You think…did my heart rate go up enough? For long enough?

It is time for you to give heart rate interval training a try.

Below is an excellent article by Adam Campbell for Men’s Health, published April 28, 2015, that explains heart rate interval training and how to do it:

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Here’s how it works: Instead of pre-determining how long you work and rest for a particular exercise—for example, “work for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds, and repeat”—you let your heart rate tell you how long you do each.

“I work until my heart reaches 85 percent of max, and then rest until it reaches 65 percent of max,” says Alwyn Cosgrove, co-owner of Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California and top Men’s Health fitness adviser. You’ll need a heart rate monitor, of course. “Just have it ‘beep” at the high and low limits,” he says.

Cosgrove likes to rotate between four exercises—for example, jump rope, kettlebell swings, battling ropes, and sled pushes—but you could choose do more movements, or fewer. “I do the first exercise until I hit the heart rate I’m looking for, and then I let myself recover until it’s back down to 65 percent,” he says. “Then I move on to the next exercise.”

Cosgrove uses that approach with all four exercises, and then repeats the process for as many rounds as he can complete in a given time period—say, 30 minutes.

“The cool part is that the periodization is built in. As my fitness improves, I recover faster between exercises and do more rounds,” says Cosgrove.

“If I’m tired or just got off a plane, my heart reflects that—so I don’t get as many rounds completed. It takes all the guesswork out of the session.”

Other forms of cardio that work well with this method:

  • Shuttle runs
  • Stepups
  • Cycling/spinning
  • Rowing

Give it a try and let us know how it affects your workout and results!

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