Is interval training good for weight loss?

High-intensity interval training, such as 30-second sprints, can make short workouts effective for weight loss. But how do you get started if you've never done sprints before? The goal is to build up to performing 30-second bursts every three minutes using the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical machine, swimming, jogging, or road biking. Try a couple of intervals to get started. Work your way up to five until you can do 10 intervals.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a beneficial way of burning fat in a short and intense workout. This method is performed by utilizing an exertion and recovery period for the duration of a workout. For example, a person would alternate between jogging for 60 seconds (exertion period) followed by walking for 60 seconds (recovery period) over a 10 minute duration cycle. Upon completion of this workout, your body metabolism will be elevated and initiate the recovery oxygen consumption state known as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This means that the body is burning more calories after exercise than before the exercise was initiated.  

Dr. Mike Clark, DPT
Higher intensity interval training is a very effective approach to lose weight and get fit. Interval training is also effective to increase heart health.

Interval training is a great type of exercise training, especially to boost caloric burn that can aid an individual to lose weight. Interval training consists of a segment of low intensity exercise followed by a segment of high intensity exercise and then repeating those cycles for the duration of the workout.

Interval training has many benefits that can include burning more calories in a shorter period of time while also burning more calories after exercise. Individuals who incorporate this type of training can prevent exercise plateaus and boredom. This type of training allows one to be creative with their workouts and can be tailored to meet one’s needs and goals very easily.

Remember when performing any type of exercise a proper warm-up should be performed before activity followed by a proper cool down. Enjoy and have fun!


Interval training is fantastic for weight loss. Interval training is exercising at an intense (fast or hard) level for a short period such as 1 minute or 30 seconds and then recovering at a more moderate level for 2 minutes. This kind of training challenges your body and makes exercising more interesting and will absolutely help with weight loss.

Yes! Interval training is great for weight loss by increasing the intensity of your workout for short periods of time, while allowing your body to rest while continuing to exercise at a lower intensity, and then repeating this cycle over again. You will not only increase the amount of calories that you burn during your workout, but also increase the amount of calories your body continues to burn throughout the rest of the day. And the higher the intensity of your workout, the more calories your body will burn.

So remember, when you are trying to lose weight, incorporate interval training into your cardio workout. And keep the intensity of your workout high to burn the most calories and acheive the best results.

Interval training is one of the top methods you can use to lose weight. Research has shown that individuals who participate in interval training have the ability to raise their metabolism hours after their workout is complete. This will create a greater calorie burn and enable you to lose weight at a faster rate. The key to interval training is increasing your heart rate during your activities, then dropping it back down for a short period of time for recovery. Start out slow, keeping your heart rate steady if you have not participated in interval training activities previously. As your aerobic capacity increases you can start pushing yourself more and increasing your heart rate to higher levels.
Not only great for weight loss but also for lifting our confidence by pushing ourselves to higher levels of intensity for short bursts of time, we realize we are capable of more than we think. I enjoy 20 minutes of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). When I was first starting my personal weight loss journey I did this by walking on a treadmill and lasted almost 10 minutes. The key is to focus on "intensity."  Here is one way...on a scale of 1-10, start with a 2 minute warm up at what ever feels like intensity 5 for you. It will be different for each of us based on our fitness level. Then increase your intensity each minute to a 6, a 7, an 8, and a 9. Then repeat the cycle back from 6-9. On your last minute give it all you have to hit your intensity "10" and cool down. Remember it is very important to focus on the right intensity based on your fitness level. If you are just starting out, you may do this by simply walking adjusting your pace. As your fitness level increases what it takes to stay at the intensity level you desire will change. This is a great work out that will not only burn lots of calories while you're doing it but all day long. Enjoy!
Interval training is a great way to train for weight loss! Interval training involves training at different intensity levels for certain durations during a workout. It is also an extremely effective way to increase caloric expenditure - both during, and after, the workout.

Weight loss will occur when you burn more calories than you consume. The higher the intensity of your workouts, the more calories you will burn. Interval training is a great way to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, however it is very important that you build a solid cardio foundation before attempting this type of training to avoid injury. If you are new to exercise, or have not been training regularly, begin your cardio training trying to maintain an intensity between 65-75% of your maximum heart rate (MHR = 220-age) for a period of 60 minutes, 3-5 days per week. Once you can comfortably do this for a few weeks then you are ready to slowly progress to interval training.

Without question - interval training is an effective and efficient way to exercise and enhance weight loss. Interval training adds variety and takes away from the monotony of the long run or the wasted "social" time spent weight training.

Alternating intensity levels keeps the burn rate high, even after you are finished. Total time spent working should decrease and you have more time to play.


Yes, interval training is great for weight loss. Interval training will also keep variety in your workout and keep the "fun factor" going for you. When you alternate between low and high intensity intervals you boost your caloric burn. Your heart rate will increase, then decrease, burning off those fat calories. Interval training can easily be performed at home using standard body weight exercises or at a gym alternating between cardio and weight exercises. You can also do cardio interval training. This will allow you to get a great cardio workout in about 30 minutes. You use a heart rate monitor and 3 heart rate target zones to really give the cardiac muscles a workout.
Jill Mearns
Yes - interval training is a very effective way to boost your calorie burn, which will assist in weight loss. It also adds some variety to your routine, helping you not become bored with your workout. You can do intervals in just about any cardio routine - cycling, swimming, walking/jogging/running - even strength training.

First of all, short-bursts of high intensity work followed by a lower intensity "recovery" allows people to discover that they are able to work at a higher level than they thought was possible, if they can do it for a short interval. It is a great motivator to discover you can do more than you thought you could.

Secondly, intervals allow you to keep from becoming bored in your cardio routine, by playing games with yourself - boosting the speed on incline for short periods gives you something to focus on other than the same old routine.  

Finally, by working at a higher intensity, your body will burn more calories during the day than if you worked at a lower intensity.
Here are a few fun intervals to try (remember, they can be done in a variety of cardio formats - treadmill, bike, pool, etc.):
  • Tabatas: 8 sets of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off.  Your 20 seconds on should be very high intensity and your focus should be on accelerating to your top speed as quickly as possible.  Your 10 seconds off should be very low intensity.
  • Pyramid Sprints: Sprints (or Climbs) with rests equal to half the amount of time of the work. Interval Times (in seconds): 30, 40, 50, 60, 60, 50, 40, 30 
  • Treadmill walkers: Here is a new twist.  Hold a medicine ball or a light weight while you walk on the treadmill - lift it over your head 30-40 seconds of every minute. This will increase your heart rate (and the number of calories you burn).
Good luck and have fun!
Absolutely.  I have found that interval training works the best with my clients.  What interval training does is start you at a low intensity for a few minutes and then to high high intensity which can last from 30s to up to 2 minutes.  The one reason I found with my clients is that they end up burning more calories during this type of training.  They say the low intensity part is like a treat for them and helps them recover which allows them to go longer.  A lot of times people get burnt out by during their cardiovascular training at such a moderate or high intensity for so long that they lack the energy to continue.
The intensity demanded by interval training can have great benefits for a weight loss goal because of the calories expended during and after a session. It should be noted that most exercisers need to work up to interval training as it may not be a good first choice in a cardio-respiratory exercise program because of its intensity level. The demand can be high and your heart and lungs must be ready to accept it. Another advantage of interval training is a psychological one. Time will go by much faster with the series of short term goals presented by intervals. So if you're the type that bores easily with cardio work, interval training is an excellent goal to work toward!
Yes, interval training is good for weight loss because its benefits are found not only in the amount of calories burned during the exercise itself, but also in the amount of calories burned after the exercise session. Interval training is a type of training that involves high-intensity bursts of activity and alternates those with lower-intensity activities. Many athletes use interval training to help with conditioning as many sporting events involve high-intensity activity with a short period of time at a lower intensity. Interval training while doing cardio can be performed by doing a five minute warm-up at 65% of your estimated maximum heart rate (220-age), then progressing to 80% of your estimated maximum heart rate for one to two minutes, then back down to the lower intensity. This cycle is repeated for the duration of the cardio activity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.