Many of Gin’s workouts are called circuits - they alternate cardio with strength. Others are called interval – they alternate high intensity cardio effort followed by low intensity cardio recovery.
Over the years, it’s become common to refer to circuit types of workouts that alternate steady state cardio with short strength segments as an “interval” format. True, they are done in “intervals” or intermittantly and, yes, they DO alternate aerobic with anaerobic work. But in this format, the aerobic segments are the higher effort and the anaerobic segments allow for recovery.
Reebok University clarified the difference back in the 90′s when they rolled out Circuit and Interval Step programming. A circuit alternates strength with cardio, and in a group fitness setting, it is done at what they call a uni-station as opposed to moving from one station to the next with some kind of cardio in between. Interval training is alternating bouts of high intensity work efforts with lower intensity recovery and the goal is completely different from a circuit.
Check the dictionary and you find the definition: series of fast paced exercises interspersed with slower ones or brief rests for training (as of an athlete).
The ACE Personal Trainer Manual defines it as “repeated intervals of exercises (e.g., jogging or running) interspersed with intervals of relatively light exercise (e.g., walking)” and further defines “aerobic” and “anaerobic” interval training – all relative to cardio-respiratory fitness. “Circuit training” is then defined as “taking participants through a series of exercise stations, with relatively brief intervals of rest in between”.
Several years ago, we posted this information clarifying Interval Training:
Despite attempts to clarify, the word interval to describe cardio/strength formats seems to have taken a strong hold. Is it “wrong”? Perhaps not. Is it “confusing”? Without a doubt!
The following is a thread found on the Video Fitness Forum: