I mentioned previously that, this year, I will do more interval training versus long, low intensity exercise. Today I had an indoor training session on the bike trainer where I followed a specific interval protocol called the "Little method". This interval training protocol is named after the person who developed it, Dr. Little from Department of Kinesiology at the McMasters University. After warm-up, do 60 seconds high intensity that is high enough that you can barely finish the 60 seconds. Follow that by 75 seconds of low intensity. Repeat this cycle 12 times (=27 minutes). Studies have shown that if you do this training 3 times a week you have the same benefit as doing 60 minutes of steady low intensity exercise 5 times a week.
There's another protocol called the "Tabata method" which was developed by the Japanese Dr. Tabata. This can be used when you have very limited time but still want to get a training session in. After warm-up, do 20 seconds at very high intensity that you can barely hold that long, then follow that with 10 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle 8 times for a total training duration of only 4 minutes. Of course, you should add some minutes of warm-up before. This protocol is supposed to have a similar effect as the "Little" method.
My son likes to do this one on the bike trainer, but he does it twice in a 15 to 30 minute session. I only use the Tabata method for running, while I prefer the Little method for the bike.
See the illustrations in the Arabic version of this post.