I am sure that by now you have heard the term interval training or what I refer to as HIIT — high intensity interval training. This form of training exercise was develop, perfected and used over the years by many well respected trainers, researchers and athletes the world over. Many athletes have surpass their pervious best using this method of training and I think it is the best way to exercise for those who are trying to improve their fitness level.
If you want to torch unwanted body fat and improve your fitness level to unbelievable new heights then you must do some form of this exercise. I have been using HIIT for the past couple of years and am now in better shape than in previous years.
What is Interval training?
What is this miracle training method that’s taking the fitness world by storm? It involves the periodically increasing and decreasing the intensity of an activity over a time span of six to 30 minutes. There are four phases to HIIT – warm up, increase intensity, reduce intensity and cool down. I recommend doing between eighteen and twenty minutes of intervals three alternating days per week by using the following method.
Warm-up — three minutes
Increase intensity(interval) — one minute
rest at lower intensity(interval) — two minutes
Cool down — three minutes
Complete five intervals after your warm-up and be sure to cool down afterwards. When doing your increased intensity interval go as fast as you possible can so that by the end of the one minute you are completely out of breath(90% VO2 max). At the lower or resting interval go at about half the intensity of your max speed . . . . low enough to recover your breath.
If you watch sporting events such as football or basketball, you will notice the athlete expending a lot of energy periodically throughout the game, interspersed by period of rest. When we exercise we should do the same to get the most out of your efforts. We have to ditch the ‘steady state’ cardio and increase the intensity. Another example — compare the body of a sprinter to that of a jogger . . . . big difference.
I do seven to eight intervals . . . . three times per week. I am not an elite athlete . . . . just someone training to stay healthy and fit, especially as I get older.
Any more than three alternating days per week is too much because you body needs to fully recover. I also use a version of HIIT when doing resistance exercises (weights). Because the HIIT methodology used with weights is different than cardio, I will save this explanation for another blog post.
The science behind HIIT
When you do interval training you are increasing your resting metabolic rate . . . . which is important. While you are in a relaxed position, such as when reading or watching TV or even sleeping, your body is still burning calories — up to 24 hours after doing HIIT. This is in contrast to steady state cardio where your calorie burning ability diminishes much faster.
The muscle fibers involved in the consumption of energy (calories) are highly activated, meaning that they are burning stored fat for energy. This is great news for those who are trying to lose weight because not only is fat reduced in the activated muscle but message is sent to the liver to supply more energy. In a short time you will begin to shed that excess spare tire around your waist and look and feel great.
HIIT has been around for years and has been adapted to various exercises but used mainly with cardio routines — running, cycling, plyometrics, boxing and floor exercises such as dancing and gymnastics.
Benefits of HIIT
If you want to burn fat and reduce the amount of calories in your body this is the best way to do it.
For those who have a busy schedule you can cut your cardio time significantly by doing various versions of intervals e.g. do 1- minute of warm up and twenty seconds of high intensity interspersed by thirty seconds of rest and cool down for 1-minute.
Increase your calorie burning capacity up to twenty fours after completing an interval session.
Because of the amount of energy use to do HIIT, it is advisible to to get your doctor’s approval before starting. This is why I recommend doing it only three days per week.
The main benefit for those who are pre-diabetics or diabetic is that you will increase your insulin sensitivity and reduce body fat. For those suffering from other metabolic syndrome — a condition that increases cardiovascular disease and diabetes — this is the best way to reduce fat producing enzymes . . . . besides taking expensive meds.
Get started as soon as you can and begin to realize health benefits you never thought possible. I have.
P.S. Get more information today by visiting How to Prevent Pre-diabetes.