We’re big into interval training because it seems like a really efficient way to exercise. But the question still remains: how to get yourself to actually do it? A new iteration seems to accomplish that. The promising research is outlined in the New York Times’ A Way to Get Fit and Also Have Fun. Although it’s called 10-20-30 training, it’s really 30-20-10 training. We’ve been finding it works! Here’s how you do it:

30-20-10 interval training
Sally Schneider

Warm up with an easy jog (or pedaling or rowing), then ease into the intervals of heightened intensity. The 30-second portion should feel relaxed; the next 20 seconds moderately hard; and the final 10 seconds a full gallop, or whatever gets your heart seriously pumping. 

Do five of the 10-20-30 intervals in a row without pause, then rest for two minutes by standing or very slowly walking about. Repeat the five consecutive intervals one more time, cool down, and you are done. The whole session, minus warm-up and cool-down, will have lasted 12 minutes.

If you are already in fine shape add another set of the five uninterrupted intervals.

We’ve tailored the basic notion to our workouts in the park across the way, where we wear a wrist heart rate monitor. Since we can’t take the pounding of jogging anymore, we walk really fast or climb stairs to get our heart rate up, which can take longer than 10 seconds. If you don’t use the machines in a gym, or jog, you could conceivably tailor it to a variety of exercises (many of which we’ve written about), including hula hooping…

Suzy Hoops hoola hooping nyc


icmkSg on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

…or improvised dance.


We’ve found that the various counts and changing interval speeds somehow keeps our interest, so we actually do the exercise. We’ve also found that we can work various iterations of it into our walks around the city.

If you wish to try 10-20-30 training, the Time’s article recommends starting by replacing one or two of your normal weekly workouts with a 10-20-30 session.

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