There are many benefits of this type of training and these include increased metabolism, shorter workout time and dramatic improvement in overall fitness.
The cardio interval training is performed in on/off or fast/easy periods of time, allowing for recovery, and you can use pretty much any time frame you wish such as:
- 30 seconds fast/30 seconds easy
- 1 minute fast/1 minute easy
- 30 seconds fast/1 minute easy
For example, sprints on the treadmill are a classic use of cardio interval training where you would sprint for 1 minute at a pace you can handle or approximately 80% of your maximum effort, then rest for 1 minute and repeat the process.
This is a general guide so experiment with a few time frames which can be performed on any type of cardio equipment like an exercise bike, x-trainer or elliptical trainer, rower and treadmill as already mentioned.
Depending on your level of fitness, start with 5-10 minutes and work your way up to around 20 minutes which would be a very solid effort. You can perform this as many times as you want during the week but realistically aim for 2-3 per week combining other forms of exercise such as body weight and/or resistance training.