Low Intensity Interval Training: Better Results by Doing Less?

By on March 15, 2018
interval training

Irony alert: The things you think you need to do in order to be fit are actually making it harder for you to achieve fitness.

The modern view of fitness, simply put, is that you have to suffer in order for your workout to work. The focus is on intensity rather than functionality. But as you age, this extreme approach becomes less appealing, less realistic. What if there was a workout method that aligns the body, increases range of motion, and burns calories—but is simultaneously gentle on the body, slow and simple, and fun?

Truth be told,  just about any fitness protocol works with consistency. The issue is finding something that works for you. Which means finding an activity that you can—and are willing to—consistently do. With the right method, you can actually get much better results with what may seem like far less effort.

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For Pete Egoscue, Father of Modern Postural Therapy and Co-Founder of Elev8d Fitness, it’s all about alignment.

“If your posture is compromised, your big muscles are already under a lot of stress. When a structurally dysfunctional person does high-intensity workout, what they’re really doing is further stressing themselves,” Egoscue says.

That’s why, for many, fitness feels like frustration, and worse, burn-out. The push to give more in each successive workout leads to strain on the body and mind. And when we work out because we think we have to, willpower works—until it doesn’t. Research shows that willpower is an exhaustible attribute. As you tire, it fades.

After you’ve tired yourself out from performing strenuous workouts, the predictable result happens: You quit.

That’s what most people do. And that’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news: There is a better way.

You can exercise in a way that not only delivers positive physical results, it makes you feel more positively about yourself. Exercise can be something that carries you into older age, something that keeps you healthy and functional. It may sound too easy, but in a way that’s the point. Simple and easy is repeatable. Being repeatable is the key to consistency. And consistency is the true key to fitness.

A low-intensity interval training (LIIT) method that focuses on alignment and form.

“’ Low intensity’ has more or less become a guilt statement,” Egoscue says. “’ High intensity’ means ‘I’m out of breath,’ while ‘low intensity’ means ‘I had fun and enjoyed myself.’ People think they can’t enjoy themselves working out. They’re wrong.”

So what is low-intensity interval training, exactly?

It’s performing exercise at the minimum effective dose so that you yield every ounce of results without any diminishing returns. It’s tuning in to your body, giving it what it needs in the time you have available, and then getting on with your day. And the best part? You can do it at any age—a method that works whether you are eighteen or eighty.

That’s the idea of driving Elev8d Fitness. You perform just enough of just the right movements, in workouts that are only eight or 16 minutes long.

“Really, it comes down to minimum effective dose,” says Elev8d Fitness Director, Brian Bradley. “The minimal effective dose creates a residual effect for the next 24 hours like the heater got turned on. Your metabolic rate stays on, the furnace is still burning.”

What should low-intensity interval training feel like?

“It should feel energizing,” Bradley says. “It should feel like you just had fun like you just accomplished movements that maybe you even thought were a little corny and funny, but you were surprised at how effective they were when performed them correctly.”

Corny and funny? Perhaps. But isn’t fun something that’s missing from most workouts? How nice would it be to have fun in yours? Wouldn’t you be more likely to do it—and keep doing it—if you were having fun?

Give it a Try! Here are a few low-intensity exercises

Bent Knee DaVincis

Shadow Boxing

Elev8d Stork Walks


By Renee Holcomb

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Low Intensity Interval Training: Better Results by Doing Less?