But interval training is not necessarily the best way to lose weight, because it puts you at greater risk for injury. The higher impact of high-intensity running intervals, for example, can cause foot, knee or back pain and can aggravate existing conditions such as arthritis.
This is deceptive reasoning. Intervals or aerobics do not have to be only by running! So why condemn intervals just because of the running example?
Jogging aerobically might even be more of a stress because more body weight is supported, while running fast has less of the weight going downward because it is being thrown forward. The important thing about impact exercises is to go into it gradually.
As for intervals, if you just like to walk, that's fine! Just don't walk at a steady pace (aerobics). Rather, walk fast, then slow, and repeat for at least three cycles. You'll find out that your progress will be accelerated. Read my experiences with intervals in this thread (click here)
. As I mention there, I'm doing an extreme form of interval training, the Tabata protocol
, and I'm not even running! I do squats and arm exercises simultaneously. No impact, though I'm not averse to impact and in fact, believe it to be essential in preventing osteoporosis. (I get my impacts with wall-bag punching and kicking, as well as jumping rope, interval style, which lately, I rarely do.)
I also tend to believe Dr. Al Sears' analysis that aerobics is harmful! Training for long endurance events does lead to decrease in size, apparently including heart and lung size, leading to decrese in cardio-respiratory reserve capacity.
As I posted in the thread mentioned
, I had results in only 3 weeks, and it was something that probably never happened in my entire life -- a heart rate below 60!
I'm lazy, and thus, tend to search out the best -- that is, what can indulge my laziness.
A four minute interval training with a minimum of 3 times a week is the best, so far, for my cardio-respiratory fitness. I never liked aerobics and I never tried it formally (so yes, I'm biased). However, I considered having my share of aerobics because I commute by bicycle, at one time even having a daily commute of 13 km each way. But I did not note any progress in that time, and in fact, I even put on some fat during that time.
I think that just like with our muscles, we can only progress if we approach our maximum limits. Aerobics never does that, but intervals do. And I could say, now that I'm going into my fifth week, my cardio-respiratory fitness is quickly improving. And my waist size is decreasing steadily, too. :wink:
We'll find that if we regularly approach our limits, those limits become easy and are no longer limits, and we'll have to devise new ways to approach our max.