Put it into practice: Interval training for squash with Gary Nisbet

18th January 2021

Our featured content on the site this week comes on the physical side of the game, as our SquashSkills Fitness & Performance Director Gary Nisbet takes a deep dive into interval training.

Gary is one of the foremost strength & conditioning coaches in the sport, having worked with a number of elite level players throughout his career. Outside of his squash specialisation he has worked with athletes from several other sports including basketball and MMA, and has also worked within the sports science departments of several professional football clubs.

Interval training is perfectly suited to squash, being an efficient, time-effective way of improving conditioning. It’s also very specific to the nature of the game, with multiple hard work efforts being interspersed with set recovery periods.

By using interval format training sessions, you can get more high intensity, high-quality work done than if you just always train at a set continuous pace, such as that typical in the long-distance runs, repetitive length swimming, or high mileage bicycle rides people often feel they need to do to ‘get fit’. By using the on:off format of interval training instead, work output can be maintained at a higher level throughout the session, thanks to the regular rest periods that are included. It’s a flexible training method as well, being equally suited to everything from rowing machines to exercise bikes, and from court sprints to ghosting.

In the playlist, Gary explores a number of different interval training formats, including the standard ‘1:1’ type session where work and rest are kept equal, onto the more squash specific 30-15 intervals that closely replicate the typical squash rally. There’s also an exploration of some of the better known wider context interval formats such as HIIT, fartlek training, the Tabata protocol, and 4 x 4’s.

The aim of this blog is to introduce Gary’s fitness training video series, as well as to point you in the direction of some of the other related content we have here on the site. Watch through the videos from the playlist and then click through the links to the sessions below to check them out, and discover the benefits of incorporating some interval training into your conditioning programme.


Put it into practice

Check out some of these brand new interval sessions, from our extensive fitness video library:

1:1 Intervals

30:15 Intervals

Tabata Intervals

4 x 4 Intervals

Muscular Endurance Intervals


Related content

Endurance for the squash player

Gary Nisbet discusses how crucial the element of endurance is for the squash player, explaining how to train it, which drills to include in a session and highlighting how professional players use it to get through tough five-game matches.

home enduranceExercising at home

Gary Nisbet takes us through exercising at home or confined space and shows us how to make the most of training when you can’t get to a gym or on a court.


Health and Fitness Q&A

In this brand new series, Gary answers the most common fitness questions asked by our members.


Let us know how you get on with the sessions, we’d love to hear your feedback!

Haven't seen the full series yet?

Check out the series where Gary Nisbet explores interval training and how a variation of training methods can benefit a squash player!

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