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Gyms.co.nz Fit Tips

Time for Intervals?

The majority of people who exercise spend their workout time performing continuous training.  Continuous training means performing an exercise where the intensity remains reasonably constant throughout.  This may be running on the treadmill at 10km per hour for 20 minutes or sitting on a bike at level 5 resistance for half an hour.

Continuous training is an important part of your training regime and should not be eliminated from your weekly workouts.  However, in order to ensure you achieve the best results from your training it may be time to turn to intervals.  Your workout regime should include both continuous and interval training to ensure its success.

So what is interval training?  

In simple terms, interval training involves alternating high intensity exercise periods with periods of lower intensity recovery.  For example, a person may run for 5 minutes at 10km per hour followed by 2 minutes at 13km per hour, and then repeat this sequence several times.

Why should you turn to interval training?

There are a huge range of benefits to including interval training into your exercise programme including the following:
  Improved cardiovascular fitness
  Burn more calories
  Break through a fitness plateau
  Achieve new exercise levels
  Reduce boredom of training

So how do you incorporate interval training into your workouts?

1.  Determine the type of exercise that you wish to do e.g. running, walking, swimming biking etc.
2.  Determine the lower intensity level e.g. This may be between 50% and 65% of your maximum heart rate (see our fitness resources for details on how to calculate your maximum heart rate).  This is your recovery / baseline intensity.
3.  Determine your upper intensity level.  This should be a level that you are working reasonably hard but should not exceed 85% (to ensure that you continue to work predominantly aerobically)
4. You may choose to raise and lower your intensity systematically, (e.g. by time) or if you are doing a less intensive session you can alternate more randomly by lowering and raising the level at your discretion.

5. Interval training can also be especially useful in situations where you are trying a new type of exercise.  For example, if you are just trying to start jogging you may not be able to jog for a period of 20 minutes.  Instead try alternating periods of walking and jogging until you build up to jogging continuously for 20 minutes.

As we move into the new year and look to achieve our new fitness goals it may be time for you to incorporate interval training into your routine.  Have a go ... you will be pleased with the results...


Happy New You!

Despite your best intentions I am sure that due to various circumstances many of you may have been unable to stick to your exercise routine over the festive period.

A common scenario at this time of year for many is to set a New Year's resolution that involves their fitness or weight loss goals for the upcoming year. 

This is also the time of year when many individuals are looking at joining a gym or changing their existing fitness centre. 

However, if you are not a current gym member or gym user then how are you going to select a gym to attend?  Perhaps it is an easy choice… there may only be one in town.   However, some of you will have a range of options.  The following are a list of things to look out for when choosing which gym to train at:


Is it convenient for you to visit the centre?  Perhaps it is close to home, or on the way to work.  If the centre is too far out of your way you will find that you are constantly making excuses and not attending the gym.

Are the staff courteous and friendly?  Are they able to answer your questions effectively?  Are they prompt in dealing with your enquiry?  What is the appearance of the staff?

Does the equipment appear clean and well maintained?  Have they got a good range of equipment?  

What types of services do they offer – for example personal training, group exercise?  What does your membership include – regular assessments, programmes?  How will they go about helping you achieve your fitness goals?  

Membership Types
What types of memberships do they offer?  Is it possible to trial the centre before you join?  Do they offer convenient payment options?

What is the overall look and feel of the centre?  Can you see yourself training there regularly?

To view details on one of our profiled fitness centres click here.  There are a range of special offers available at these clubs as well as having trials available so you can try out the facility before you commit to a membership.

For a list of all of the fitness centres in your area click here