Get Your Bikini Body With Interval Training

It’s time to pull out that swimsuit or to shop for a new one! In addition to the normal protocol of waxing, self-tanning, a pedicure and any other bikini ritual you may have, we have to take a long hard look at what’s been hiding under those jeans all winter and spring. But no worries! Here’s a fun fat-burning cardio workout that, along with a very healthy diet, will have you in a bikini by July 4th weekend.

Interval training is all the rage right now. Sometimes referred to as HIT (High Intensity Training), the basic idea is that you alternate between bursts of high-intensity work and recovery periods of lower intensity work. I love it for those days when I have to save a little time because you can get a lot done in less time with this workout.

Let’s use the trusty treadmill as an example. Always begin with your normal warm-up of about five to eight minutes to build a little heat. Then adjust your treadmill speed, and hit it hard with one minute of high-intensity running. Think of it as a 60-second burst of energy. I like to visualize that I am running towards something like the water line of the beach. Push your speed up to as high as you can safely go. Be careful here, and focus on good running form. Walkers can amp up their power walking and speed up to a similar interval, too.

Once that minute is over–and you will be so glad it is! Now, reduce your speed to one half of your high-intensity speed, and recover for a two-minute interval. This will feel great and will fly by. Then, repeat the one-minute, high-intensity interval again. If you repeat this one-minute, high-intensity/two-minute recovery six times, you can be headed for the showers in 30 minutes, including a warm up and cool down and a quick quad and calf stretch.

You can build on this basic interval-training plan by increasing the duration of your workout. Jump from six to eight to 10 repetitions of the series. You can also add incline to your high-intensity intervals. Adjust your treadmill to a respectable incline and run as fast as you can up that hill then reset to a flat level for recovery.

My favorite way to interval train is with a friend. The rules are these. We converse only during recovery when you should be able to talk fairly easily once you have caught your breath. The moment we begin our high-intensity interval, all talking stops–we focus and we run like crazy. We can only pick up our conversation again when we are into the next recovery period. I have literally broken off in mid-sentence, run a strong minute high-intensity interval, and picked up right where I left off!

The way I look at it, interrupting a conversation for a minute is well worth it knowing that it will pay off at the beach or around the pool!