What if there were a way to super charge your cardio and make your fat melt off in a fraction of the time of traditional calorie burning workouts? Would you be excited? Well there is. It’s called High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT for short) and it’s the focus of Week 5 of our 7 Week Slim Down. Get Ready to sweat!
What is High Intensity Interval Training? High Intensity Interval Training is a description of an exercise method that alternates short bouts of maximum or near maximum intensity cardio with low exertion / low intensity “near rest” periods. The numbers of each segment can vary. A common HIIT workout looks like this:
A round is 2 minutes ultra-intense running (sprinting) followed by 3 minutes of light jogging. Do 4 rounds. Total Cardio HIIT Workout time = 20 minutes.
You can expect this to burn about 2-4 times the calories of a low to medium intensity 45 minute cardio session! Why not gauge it for yourself this week? On Mon & Wed, do a 45-minute low to medium intensity cardio workout then on Tues/Thurs do the high intensity workout. Wear your Polar watch or Fitbit and track the calories burned. If you’re not shamed, post how many calories your burned in all the sessions on this Blog.
HIIT Benefits. Here’s a look at some of the many benefits of HIIT training that should inspire you to leave behind old school cardio most of the time.
* HIIT Torches Your Body Fat. You’re looking to get Slim so this is probably the benefit of HIIT dearest to most of us. HIIT not only burns off more fat in less time, but get this – HIIT creates an increased metabolic state where your body continues to expend calories for hours after your work out is over. How is that for exercise efficiency?
* HIIT Preserves Your Muscles While You Cut Fat. A really remarkable feature of HIIT is how well it works to preserve your hard earned muscle while you take off your fat. Have you ever noticed the difference between the average Olympic marathon runner’s scrawny body and a Olympic sprinter’s toned and great looking physique? The marathon runners train in traditional cardio methods while the sprinters use HIIT drills!
* HIIT is More Efficient at Building Endurance. Recent studies have suggested HIIT training actually builds endurance quicker and more efficiently than longer bouts of lower intensity cardio. Sounds counter intuitive, but the science in the research is clear. HIIT wins once again.
* HIIT Improves Insulin Sensitivity. HIIT makes your body much more sensitive to insulin, which translates to much less body fat getting stored through out your normal days and nights. This benefit isn’t just felt on the days you do HIIT, but also carries over for all the rest of your week as well!
* HIIT Conditions All Your Energy Systems. HIIT training develops both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. This leads to the ability to perform well in short bursts as well as in extended length situations. HIIT cardio proficiency actually will add reps to other exercises you can do in the gym! Other forms of cardio don’t effect anaerobic energy systems at all.
For Week 5 and beyond I’d suggest shifting some of your cardio days to HIIT sessions. Use the sample workout above two or three days a week and be prepared to see some real dramatic changes in the mirror. You now know one of the real secrets the professionals use to get ripped, use it and watch the heads turn fast!
Diva Coach Cass