Health Fitness

HIIT: The Ultimate in Weight Loss

I know there are many recent articles on high intensity interval training. However, I believe that most of them do not fully and / or clearly explain this type of training. I hope this article helps to remedy this situation.

I know most of us were told that when we are in an aerobic state that raises our heart rate (HR) to more than 70% of our maximum heart rate (MHR), we cannot burn fat for fuel. This was simply based on our understanding of the nature of the chemical processes our cells use to replenish their fuel supply.

However, many new studies with well-documented results indicate that we obviously do not know exactly what is happening at the cellular level, because this research shows that we burn more calories from fat at these higher HR levels than at the lower ones. . And this in addition to burning more carbohydrates as well. A study with 17 participants conducted over a 20-week period showed that the HIIT group lost more than three times the amount of body fat as the resistance training group.

What is clear is that HIIT is the way to go to burn fat and maintain muscle mass. This is because if we only do high intensity training, we will burn our carbohydrate stores and we will not burn fat. Therefore, we will begin to break down our muscles to produce carbohydrates for fuel to continue with the exercise. Somehow, interval training prevents this muscle breakdown and allows the use of fat for fuel instead of muscle.

Perhaps this is due to the fact that during periods of lower intensity training our body uses fat as fuel; And in a way, it also uses fat to replenish our ATP stores that we burn during periods of high intensity. Then when we do our next HI interval, we have the fuel we need, in the way we need it. This will preserve our muscles and allow us to continue working.

As was also pointed out in almost every article on HIIT, much of the additional calorie burning occurs after we finish exercising. This fact may allow us to burn more total calories with a shorter HIIT workout than with a longer steady-state exercise workout (no intervals). This is important to all of us (not just those with limited time to spend) because unless we are extremely fit to begin with, we will not be able to perform HIIT as long as it is not HIIT.

Remember, HIIT is very physically demanding. You need to make sure you are fit enough to handle the additional stresses it will put on your body. If you have any questions, ask your doctor.

Although there are many variations of HIIT, here are a few (which I posted in my newsletter) that are not as physically demanding as most of them and will still get you on the path to the results you want:

This program can be done on any form of cardiovascular equipment or even jogging outdoors or swimming:

* Begin with a simple 4-minute warm-up, casually increasing your pace to what you normally maintain for your workout.

* Once you’re warm enough, fire up your intensity for 30 seconds.

* Return to your normal pace for the next 30 seconds and then fire again.

* Repeat this 30-30 interval for 6 minutes, then gradually decrease in intensity as you enter a cool-down pace.

After your HIIT session, you can expect to burn more calories due to an increase in your metabolism, sounds good, right? If you are not fit enough to jump into a full HIIT session, you may consider trying one of the following modified HIIT workouts:

Modified HIIT 1:

* Start with a warm-up of at least 5 minutes, casually increasing your pace to what you normally maintain during your workout.

* Once it is warm enough, increase its intensity for a full minute.

* Return to your normal rhythm and stay here until you have recovered enough to continue.

* Repeat this 1 minute interval with full recovery time in between each for the full extent of your workout and then gradually decrease your intensity as you enter a cool down pace.

Modified HIIT 2:

* Start with a warm-up of at least 5 minutes, casually increasing your pace to what you normally maintain during your workout.

* Once it’s hot enough, change your speed and intensity for 2 minutes.

* Return to your normal pace for 2 minutes and then change your intensity and speed again. The key is to keep your body guessing: you’re not doing full intensity work, but you’re not keeping up with the same pace for the entire duration of the workout, either.

* Repeat this 2-minute interval for the full extent of your workout, then gradually decrease your intensity as you enter a cool-down pace.

Of course, as you get in shape, you can increase your High Intensity time and reduce Recovery Periods to match your increased aerobic capacity to the point where you are using a 1: 1 High Intensity to Recovery ratio.

For more information on many types of training, see my website at

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