Read this article to find out all you need to know about High-Intensity Interval Training.
Answer this one question: have you ever felt like you were always on the treadmill or elliptical and really didn’t see the result and you know you’re trying your hardest?
The truth is that you’re not alone. Many individuals feel as though no matter how often they went to the gym and did cardio, they stayed the same weight or if lucky, lose a couple pounds. You could be eating right and being in a calorie deficit but unless you work smart and hard with HIIT chances are your chances of losing significant weight is slim to none.
Have you ever wondered how shows like The Biggest Loser lose so much weight in such short amount of time? Most of it isn’t through grueling hours on the treadmill or even the elliptical– it’s high-intensity interval training. In fact, for many, the only way to burn calories or lose weight means becoming acquainted with the treadmill. It’s time to change your opinion of cardio and getting in shape. For starters, lets begin with the definition of cardio.
The Basics of Exercise
Cardio is any exercise that works the heart and circulatory system which generates and increased blood flow throughout the body. From the root of cardio, there are two extremes, low-intensity steady state cardio (LISS) and high-intensity interval cardio (HIIT), each with their respective benefits.
HIIT vs. LISS
At its core, no matter what type of cardio you choose its still beneficial for you but not all cardio is created equally. When doing high-intensity interval training the heart is around 70-90 percent of maximum heart rate while low-intensity cardio is around 50-60 percent. The big difference between these two spectrums is that one form is ideal for burning calories and fat efficiently.
Traditional forms of cardio exercises are considered low to moderate\ intensity exercises, these include jogging, biking, and swimming. There is nothing is wrong with traditional forms of exercises but its just not time efficient. LISS is great for conditioning your body and overall health, but not the most efficient or fastest way to burn that unwanted belly fat.
Conditioning Without HIIT
A good example of this was a client of ours who spent all of their time at the gym on the treadmill using LISS. She was doing everything right, eating at the needed calorie deficit, exercises four times a week and making sure her metabolism is in check.
Despite being in a calorie deficit and eating veggies, nothing was changing. She had more endurance and was able to run faster for a longer period of time, but weight remained the same. After two weeks of no change she eventually gave up and came to us for answers. Only then did she realize the fault in her technique.
The History of HIIT
As far back as the 1900’s coaches and athletes have been using some form of interval training to gain an edge over the competition. Around 1910 coach Lauri Pikhala and Finn Paavo Nurmi created an interval training system in which runners focused on alternating between slow and fast runs. For example, a running would run a 4 to k run with fast speed over the last 1 to 2k, followed by four to five sprints. By the 1930s a Swedish coach Gosta Holmer developed his own style of Interval Training. His style of training called for athletes to vary their speed during a run so a runner may alternate between a fast pace and slow pace, or between a fast and medium pace or everything in between. The official name for this type of training is called Fartlek or speed play which is actually still very popular for athletes, especially long-distance runners.
What is (HIIT)?
High-intensity interval training is a series of exercises done in a short amount of time at very high intensity. This may sound grueling to some but if done right (HIIT) can be a fun and exciting way to burn fat fast. Depending on the type of exercises that are done, it can be a great whole body workout that will leave you breathless. These fluctuations in your heart rate maximize the amount of calories you are burning in a single workout, thus burning more fat.
Should You Ever Use a Treadmill Ever Again?
After reading this article you may be tempted to never step foot on a treadmill ever again but keep on reading before making any quick decisions. Below is a clip of high-intensity interval training done on an inclined treadmill.
Typical High-intensity Workout Plan
- Warm up for 10 minutes consisting of anything that will get the blood flowing
- Implement full-body exercises that engage multiple muscle groups
- Use body weights, free weights and equipment based exercises
- Go at max intensity with the desired exercise for a 20-second burst
- Try to catch your breath within a 10 second rest period.
- Repeat for a total of 4 minutes