WORK IT WEDNESDAY: HIIT IT
Hi Darlings, it is that time again where we get to enjoy post full of knowledge from our very own Cynthia, but before we get to that I wanted to quickly mention that tomorrows post will be a combination of two things. I will be announcing some of this years special sponsors of the 3rd Annual Mimi G Sewing fashion & Style Conference 2014 and if you missed registration tomorrow is your lucky day. See you tomorrow! xoxo
We all know high intensity interval training is the holy grail of calorie burn. The how it works and the why it works has various schools of thought behind it. High-intensity interval training ( HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, a good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute fat blasting workout.
When we think HIIT, we think of T25, Insanity, P90X, Bootcamp, Tabata as some of the mainstream HIIT type workouts. But there are many other forms of HIIT type training being done everywhere. For example, I teach a combo resistance training, HIIT cardio class. I call that class FIT HIIT (ok just a name to put in the local Y brochure) but has all the components of HIIT. It sounds simple, sometimes too simple to be very effective but science does not stretch the truth.
It works because during the movements you, of course, burn calories, however the extreme exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyper drive. The means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do, say, after a steady paced cardio class. Most of us are not used to pushing into the anaerobic zone. The anaerobic zone being that “place” during exercise where it is difficult to breath and you feel like your heart is pumping at a gazillion beats per minute. You can’t think, all you can do is try to breath. Remember though that reaching the anaerobic zone is relative to your fitness level, meaning what it takes to get me there may be different than what it takes to get you there. The reality is that you have to push and it is hard it doesn’t feel very good for that 1 minute. But it is only a minute and as my Bootcamp instructor says “you can do anything for 1 minute.”
HIIT training cannot be done everyday as the breakdown and the repair of muscles is much to intense to do daily. Two to three times per week is sufficient to sustain results and to give the body time to repair and heal. Your results from doing HIIT type workouts can and will vary from getting faster, stronger, building muscle to losing fat and reducing in inches. If you have been on a diet, you know that it is hard to not lose muscle mass along with fat. While steady state cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow for the preservation of your hard-earned muscles while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores. Win freaking win – right?
Running, sprinting, biking, jump rope, mountain climbers, pushups, burpees (yall remember these right) , plyometric movements and rowing all work great for HIIT. Equipment is not necessary for HIIT to get it done.. High knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric like jumping lunges work just as well to get your heart rate up fast. When equipment like dumbbells or kettlebells are used, they are used during the cycles of “recovery or less intense work” where the focus is bringing the heart rate down a bit before moving on to the next exercise or circuit.
In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is wonderful news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out.
WARNING: HGH supplements do not give you this same effect.
You can do it in a boat, you can do it with a goat, you can do it on a train, and you can do it in a plane. You can do it here or there, you can do it anywhere – Dr. Seuss would have loved HIIT. OK, silliness aside you really can do it anywhere inside or out adapting it to whatever time and space constraints you have.
This is not a workout you can do while reading a magazine or chatting with your friend or on your cell (who does that anyway). Because it’s so short, you will be working hard the whole time. The trade-off is this format offers seasoned exercisers a new challenge and new exercisers a quick way to see results. You may be in pain (not bad pain just muscles working beyond what they are accustomed too), you may be sucking wind, but you definitely will not be bored. I encourage you to find a class because hitting that anaerobic zone alone is hard to do – we tend to quit before it gets that difficult.
Super-efficient HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule— research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour.
Go into any HIIT type situation with an open mind and you will be surprised at how tough you really are. This morning as I did Bootcamp, and I love my instructor, I was thinking what makes this class 1) so popular and 2) so successful. This class is super popular as everyone in that class has reached 1, 2 or 3 of the goals they had set. Many of us have been taking the class for years, swear by it. So I see individuals who came in and could not run – can run now and run fast or run miles. Or individuals that could not lift a 5 lb dumbbell now are using 15lbs for some exercises. Or women who could not do 1 push up now do 20 non stop. Or a runner with a 9 minute mile, shave 1 – 2 minutes off that mile time. We are walking billboards of what HIIT can do for you. One lady has lost an entire person, she came obese and is down 100+ pounds (ok that is a guess but she looks like she . So it is popular because the benefits are written all over those of us who take the class. Another reason it is popular is that there are very few injuries because the instructor is serious about proper form and appropriate shoes.
This class is super successful because the instructor makes it challenging for everyone. So there are actual athletes who play on sports teams in the class, as well as individuals new to exercise. Oh there are 2 women in the class over age 65 – yes over age 65. The instructor will show the circuit and will show modifications to make a move less intense or more intense, encouraging you to work at a level suitable for you but he always says “don’t short change yourself… if you can do more do it.”
Find a HIIT class in your area with an outstanding instructor and go go go for the calorie burn.
Remember consistency is key
Life is going to happen, live it, love it, embrace it and make a daily workout part of your plan.
Until we meet again.. yours in fitness