Interval Workouts That Fire Up Your Metabolism

The colors of winter bring the enticing smells of pumpkin, pecan and apple pie. Mix tempting foods with stress and back-to-back holiday parties, it's easy for your weight-loss goals to get off track. But you can cave into the temptation and still boost your metabolism. The trick: intervals.

The secret many pro athletes and personal trainers do to avoid winter weight gain is to treat workouts like appointments that you can't flake out on. The workouts are quick intervals so they can get on with their day.

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are a great way to keep your metabolism humming all day long and improve your aerobic capacity.

The following two workouts are 30 minutes and should be completed using your RPE (rate of perceived exertion).

On a scale of 1 to 10, RPE 1 is lying on the couch and RPE 10 is the maximum effort you have in you for less than a minute. You want to really push yourself during the intervals and recover as much as possible in between. By spiking your heart rate up into the anaerobic zone and then bringing it down, you can actually gain more endurance—and burn more fat—than you would exercising at a steady rate for twice as long.

More: What Is Interval Training

Workout #1: Hill Repeats

This workout will get your heart rate elevated, while offering strength-training benefits for your lower body. You can do this workout either outdoors or on a treadmill. If you're outside, find a hill that would take you one full minute to climb. If you're on the treadmill, during the "hills" simply lift the incline to between 5 and 8 percent. Make sure to slow your pace and lower the incline down to flat during the "downhill" recoveries.

Warm-up

  • Jog/walk easy for 5 minutes at RPE 4

Main Set

  • Run (or walk) up the hill for one minute at full speed (RPE 9). When you reach the top, turnaround and walk slowly back down to start. Repeat this sequence 4 to 8 times.

Cool Down

  • Jog/walk easy for 5 minutes at RPE 4

More: 15-Minute Workouts to Boost Your Metabolism

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About the Author

Susan Grant Legacki

Susan Grant Legacki is the founding editor of LAVA Magazine, and currently serves as the magazine's features and online editor. Prior to joining LAVA, she worked as a Senior Editor at Inside Triathlon and Triathlete Magazine. She is an Ironman finisher, Boston-qualifying marathoner, certified Pilates instructor—and a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. You can read more about her on Susanegrant.com and follow her on Twitter at @susanglegacki.
Susan Grant Legacki is the founding editor of LAVA Magazine, and currently serves as the magazine's features and online editor. Prior to joining LAVA, she worked as a Senior Editor at Inside Triathlon and Triathlete Magazine. She is an Ironman finisher, Boston-qualifying marathoner, certified Pilates instructor—and a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. You can read more about her on Susanegrant.com and follow her on Twitter at @susanglegacki.

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