Someone PMed me on intervals, so I wrote him/her back but decided to post it here since I wrote so damn much.
What is up? Glad to see your interest. Hopefully I can help. Apparently you have seen some of my posts, but I will give you a quick background anyhow.
I am 30 and have lifted since I was 15 having initially started for football. And I was involved in sports from the time I was a little kid. As a sophomore in high school, I was 5’10" 240#s and fat as a house. I have always had a soft baby fat kind of look. At one point in college, I got really lean by doing a low fat diet and lifting and doing a f*ck load of cardio, on the order of 1 or more hours per day. Sometimes I would take off running or biking for 2 or 3 hours. When I quit that, I ballooned up and fast. What I am getting at is this: I am predispositioned to being fat. There is not a lean person in the family. But things have changed
I made two major changes in my training this year: (1) lifting and (2) cardio.
(1) I started using a stop watch to monitor my rest intervals and now never rest more than 120 seconds. Rest intervals are typically 30 to 90 seconds. This is in its own right interval training.
(2) I transitioned from low or even moderate intensity cardio to intervals. I will still do some (like 10 minutes) of very high intensity cardio maybe once or twice per week. I also add in Tabata type routines occasionally.
I attribute my progress to both, although I do not know what percentage to allocate to each. I would guess it to be about 60% the lifting and 40% the intervals. It is key to maintain strength and size while losing fat. This is the only way that I have found in all of my years to accomplish this feat.
As far as the details of the intervals, first I will tell you what I do, then I will tell you how I progressed to my current level.
This is a typical week?s program. I am currently doing a very slightly bastardized version of CW?s TBT. It is actually now much closer to his recommendation than my earlier posts, as I have modified it.
[ 5/7 intervals means 5 minutes of ON time in 7 minutes, so 2 minutes of rest (OFF). Typically I do 1-1.5 minutes ON and 20-45 seconds OFF. Most often I do 1 minute ON and 30 seconds OFF. ] I have been doing most of my intervals in a stair stepper (not a stair master) ? the stair stepper has the actual track of rotating stairs and is a B!TCH.
Sun: OFF or stretching
Mon: 5/7 min intervals. Stretch. TBT lift. Total time 75-80 min.
Tue: 10/15 min intervals, calves / abs, 5/7 min intervals or 10 min high intensity cardio
Wed: same as Monday (different set / rep scheme on TBT)
Thu: 10/15 min intervals, calves / abs, 5/7 min intervals or 10 min high intensity cardio
Fri: same as Monday (different set / rep scheme on TBT)
Sat: optional OFF or stretching or whatever (light power cleans, OH squats, grease the groove)
The progression I used and suggest is to start with a 5 minute ON set of intervals. Vary both the intensity and the OFF time. Then increase the ON or work time. For me, it is key to go from full bore to completely off. I know some people advocate alternating high intensity with low intensity. F*ck that. It is defeatist. The goal is to reach the highest intensity level possible. You need real rest to be achieve that highest intensity level repeatedly in a short time frame. I am doing the machine at its highest difficulty level the entire time. To increase the difficulty for me (which is what we should always do ? make it harder), I decrease rest to closer to 25 seconds and increase the ON time to upwards of 1.5 minutes. I also do the last minute with no hands to balance ? this was initially brutal buit is getting too easy. Perhaps I will add a backpack with weights? These are just some suggestions on how I use that particular machine. One major advantage of that machine is this: even if you cheat a little by supporting weight with your arms (I do not), you are still busting your @ss. That being said, you are better off supporting your weight (ie running stadiums) than not (ie riding the bike).
Hope this helps and is a good start. PM me again for more specifics or just whatever.