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In this modern world, many of us find we don't have time for everything we want to do and exercise is often neglected. We've got the answer if you want to workout but are short on time.

Fartlek Training

It may sound like a silly word to us English speakers, but Fartlek is the Swedish training style that everyone is talking about. A type of high intensity interval training, Fartlek takes things one step further by randomising the intervals so that your body can't adapt and you make bigger gains without hitting a training plateau.  

The Swedish word 'Fartlek' translates as 'speed play' and that's exactly what you do - play around with the speeds of your intervals. This is done the most easily on a treadmill but you can do it outside too by using a stop watch or fitness watch to time your intervals.

The way to get best results is to change all of the variables - speed, gradient, and time. An example of a 5-minute Fartlek workout on a treadmill is as follows:

Speed Gradient  Time
10km/h 5% 60 seconds
16km/h 0% 30 seconds
9km/h 0% 45 seconds
11km/h 10% 60 seconds
5km/h 0% 60 seconds
20km/h 0% 15 seconds
10km/h 1% 30 seconds

 

This workout incorporates rest into some of the intervals so that it's sustainable but includes some tough intervals so that you get great results. The point of Fartlek is that it's totally random, so you could make it up as you go along if you want to. Additionally, it is best if you don't repeat this exact workout again, instead doing a completely different set of intervals next time. 

Due to its intensity and unpredictability, Fartlek training is perfect for those on limited time. You can get a great workout done in as little as 10 minutes which will test your fitness and increase your lung capacity and heart rate. Because you can make it up as you go along, it never gets boring or repetitive and you can have some fun with it.

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Tabata Training

Tabata training is a very popular type of interval training that works at a high intensity and is done in only 4 minutes. You can incorporate any exercises you want meaning you can target the parts of your body that need work or just use cardio exercises to improve your fitness.

The way Tabata works is 8 rounds of exercises, 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Due to the rest period being so short, your heart rate remains high throughout while still remaining realistic. It's a great way to get a good burn in a short time.

Read more: 10 minute Tabata workout

Read more: Tabata Workout

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