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High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) For Weight Loss, the Perfect Body, and Improved Fitness
Many people try to burn fat by spending hours on the bike, treadmill, or elliptical machine while pretending they are doing something else. Look around a typical cardio room and you’ll see people reading books, watching TV, and doing whatever else, but they’re actually focused on the workout. Sure, it’s a nice way to spend an afternoon, but that kind of exercise won’t help you shed pounds and get a fit and toned body.
What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training is intense cardio exercise performed over a short period of time, designed to maximize results for the time invested. It’s a method practiced by firefighters, military personnel, NFL players, NBA players, and anyone who wants a faster, leaner, stronger body.
The beauty of HIIT is that you work so hard for such a short period of time that your body actually spends the rest of the day recovering. Want to burn calories while watching TV? With HIIT you can. In fact, you burn approximately 9 times more calories at rest after a workout than on a non-interval day.
Obviously, this training is intense. You will have to get out of your comfort zone and be ready to challenge your body. If so, the results are astounding—dramatic weight loss, improved cardiovascular fitness, and toned muscles.
Benefits of HIIT
The benefits of this type of training are huge. Not only will you spend less time working out, but you’ll actually be improving your body in ways you never believed possible. Your VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen your body can take in during exercise, will skyrocket. After a few weeks of training, you will notice that your regular cardio sessions, long walks, runs or just everyday activities will leave you feeling less exhausted and more energized. This is a direct result of the quality of this type of training and speaks to the power of interval training.
I mentioned that HIIT also helps you lose weight, but it actually turns your body into a weight-burning inferno. By working out with these sessions, you are actually adjusting your body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR), which measures the amount of calories your body burns at rest. These benefits will last up to 24 hours after each workout.
By conditioning your cardiovascular system, you also reduce your long-term risk of heart disease, age-related disability, and other ailments.
Examples of HIIT programming
There are many ways to do HIIT, here are some suggestions to get you started.
First, there are two types of interval training: exhaustive and submaximal. In all-around training, you want to sprint (or move) at a speed that causes your body to tire quickly. You want to be above your VO2 max, which means your body is trying to deliver oxygen to your muscles. These movements should be combined with sufficient rest between efforts.
The second HIIT method involves performing longer movements so that you approach but do not exceed your body’s VO2 max. You’ll still feel tired and need to rest, but the effect won’t be as dramatic as an all-around workout.
Exercising all day will fire up your body and increase your VO2. Sub-maximal effort trains your body to perform at a high level for longer periods of time. Both are essential for weight loss, muscle building and overall fitness.
Sample trainings – All-out
For all-around workouts, you want to do short sprints, burpees, push-ups, anything at maximum intensity for 15-30 seconds. After that you want to rest for at least two minutes, repeat this pattern 6-10 times and always try to get a better score on your chosen exercise each round.
For example: 100 meter sprint, 2 minute rest, 100 meter sprint, 2 minute rest, etc.
Sample Training – Sub-maximal
Example A: Find a track where you won’t be disturbed. Start with a simple 5-minute jog. Once you’re warm, prepare yourself mentally. The goal of this exercise is to not stop for 10-15 minutes. Start running around one of the turns of the track. When you get directly to the spot, start sprinting. When you reach the turn, keep running. Repeat all the time.
Example B:Heat for five minutes. Sprint at about 80% of your maximum intensity for 45 to 90 seconds. Follow with a 1-2 minute recovery. Repeat in 5-8 intervals.
HIIT can be done on its own or in combination with whatever exercise you’re doing. I highly recommend not doing HIIT after lifting weights as your muscles will already be fatigued. Rather, do your interval training first and then, later in the day, do your weight routine. Do not exceed 3 HIIT sessions in any given week. You will expose yourself to unnecessary injury.
Don’t get frustrated. This type of training is very difficult and takes time to get used to. Pace yourself and try to improve every time you go out and exercise.
Basically, the right diet is the key to HIIT or any other training you will be doing. Make sure you eat well-rounded meals with protein, fruits and vegetables. Consider adding a protein supplement to your diet to accommodate your body’s new exercise routine. Your body will need all the help it can get.
If you are serious about losing weight and building muscle with HIIT, you should consider a nitric oxide supplement. Increases blood flow to the muscles. It will give your muscles exactly what they need to grow, getting bigger, stronger and more powerful with every workout. Extends recovery time and boosts energy and metabolism.
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