Looking to get in shape but don’t have much time to dedicate towards a workout? Would you like to get better results for the time you spend at the gym?
Studies have shown that a 15-minute High Intensity Interval (“HIIT”) workout produces similar or better results than one hour of slow steady state aerobic exercise. A HIIT workout is composed of short bursts of high intensity resistance training with full recovery periods.
Although the evidence supporting HIIT is clear, many people still resist giving up their time consuming aerobic workouts. Part of the reason why is because people tend to resist change and prefer doing what’s comfortable for them. High intensity workouts may tire you out more quickly or cause short term muscle soreness, all of which is uncomfortable.
Some people also hold on to the old belief that cardio is the way to weight loss and assume we’ll follow that protocol. Don’t get me wrong, aerobic exercise has its benefits and if the only way you’ll workout is by continuing with the status quo, or if you’re a marathon enthusiast, that’s ok. The point of HIIT is to produce better results in a shorter period of time -efficient!
If you’re a keener and would like to know why HIIT produces better results – in a faster timeframe- read the next three paragraphs ( If the technical jargon will put you to sleep then skip them 😉 ) :
- Exercising at high intensity just below or at your maximum heart rate is what we call anaerobic activity. By maintaining consistently high-intensity workouts, the anaerobic threshold is repeatedly moved up towards a person’s VO2 ceiling max. VO2 max is the maximal oxygen uptake that can be used, and the VO2 ceiling limit is unique to each person and is genetically predetermined. The higher the anaerobic threshold, the higher the workout intensity must be to achieve anaerobic work, which means you’re spending more time in aerobic fat burning mode before reaching this state.
- During aerobic exercise we rely mostly on oxygen for energy to fuel muscle activity as this is the type of fuel our bodies like. As we increase the intensity we must breathe harder and harder to provide the muscles with enough oxygen for fuel. Suddenly we can’t keep up and begin to hyperventilate at which point our body has no choice but to use a secondary source of fuel called “lactate” to provide the energy that our breathing can’t. A by-product is lactic acid buildup in your muscles (this is when you “feel the burn” in your muscles!). To prevent future discomfort from a similar intensity of exercise, the body creates physiological changes and pushes our anaerobic threshold closer to its ceiling limit (as mentioned previously), so that we can remain in the comfort of the aerobic zone, which is where our body likes to be.
- Oxygen relies on fat for fuel and lactate is derived from glucose. Lower intensity exercises use a greater amount of oxygen versus lactate for fuel. Each time we push our anaerobic threshold towards its ceiling limit, it allows us to spend a greater amount of time using fat for oxygen fuel than it did when our anaerobic threshold was lower. This is the rationale as to why HIIT is as effective – or more effective even – than a much longer aerobic exercise. By creating the physiological adaptations mentioned, our bodies became more efficient at using fat versus glucose for fuel, because it can spend more time below the anaerobic threshold for increased exercise efforts.
Put simply, our bodies adapt to the stress that HIIT places against it by creating physical adaptations to move your VO2 threshold closer to your ceiling limit – which means you spend more time in fat burning mode!
Here are some examples of HIIT:
- Running for 30 seconds at a speed so high that it produces extremely heavy breathing, followed by walking for 30 seconds to a minute for recovery; repeated 5-10 times yields more efficient fat burning results than jogging steadily for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Performing cycles of body weight resistance training exercises like squats to push-ups with plyometrics jumps and brief rest periods.
A HIIT training circuit for beginners and experts with program variety that targets all the muscle groups improves results! FitCore workouts consist of high intensity cardio, TRX, plyometrics, body weight and resistance training.
We tailor our group exercise programs to each person’s fitness level through exercise modifications or progressions. This ensures each person has the opportunity to work out in a safe and effective way.
Within weeks of consistent HIIT training, increased strength, improved cardio endurance and fitness should appear to pave the way for weight loss and muscle building.
Try out our HIIT and see for yourself!
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