Unfortunately, thats how a whole lot of interval workouts are programmed, confusing recovery time with wasted opportunities to pack in more work. When you push for 50 seconds and rest 10, for example, your body won't be able to be as explosive once the time comes to churn out more productive work bouts as it would if you had taken a little more time.
This fan bike interval workout from Don Saladino, NASM , is a direct refutation of the burn-it-all-down protocol that gives you time to breathe. By flipping the script, pairing 10 seconds of all-out work with 50 seconds of active recovery, you'll be primed to actually go as hard as possible, maxing out your heart rate and building the power you want.
Here, Saladino performs 15 sets on the fan bike, alternating between 10-second sprints and 50 seconds of gentle movements like childs pose and super-slow pedaling. That adds up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds of actual work timebut the effort during that period is through the roof. As you can see, hes wrecked when he's through, in the best way possible.
Of course, you need to remember that you're not just focusing on the recovery and letting the rest of your focus lapse. This work-to-rest ratio doesnt actually force you to go hard, it just affords you that ability. Once the time comes, it's up to you to actually give each work bout the effort it deserves, which is everything you have.
While Saladino took on the workout with a fan bike, you can absolutely use this protocol sprinting on the track or treadmill or churning it out on a rower. Be creative and work with what youve got.
Ready? Take a few deep breaths, get your head it the game, and hit it. Just make sure to take your rest to perform your best.
Want more workouts from Saladino? Check out his Men's Health Superhero Shred program , which is designed with the same principles he uses to get his star clients in shape.