The Merits of High Intensity Interval Training
In the 21st century, the name of the cardio game is HIIT, and for good reason: it works damn well.
High Intensity Interval Training has been widely discussed and dissected, so I will not rehash this overmuch. However, in the event you are one of the 19 people left who does not realize why you should be doing HIIT, I will touch on the main points.
More reliable sources of fitness information to recommend shorter and more intense cardiovascular exercise for the purposes of fat loss. High intensity intervals (with work portions being 85% VO2 max to supramaximal) firstly are shorter, increasing what I will call training economy. Not only does HIIT get you out of the gym faster, but it burns more fat.
Why? Central to the science of HIIT is the principal factor in fat loss: energy deficit. It’s become pretty clear that high intensity exercise results in greater caloric expenditure than low or moderate intensity cardio for any given duration. In addition, compared to other training methods, HIIT results in considerably greater Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). The great part there is that EPOC is fueled primarily from the oxidation of fat; therefore, not only are you expending more energy, but more of it is coming from fat.
Put simply, harder is smarter.
High intensity exercise puts an enormous stress on the fast-twitch fibers of the muscles you’re using during training. This stress results in those fibers becoming more metabolically efficient, and this effect culminates in your body allowing you to rely more on fatty acids for fuel as well developing greater lactic acid tolerance; overall making you bigger, faster, stronger, leaner, harder… you get the idea.
Furthermore, High Intensity Intervals have a great “afterburn” effect.
That is, because of the aforementioned increase in EPOC (as well as a number of other factors), doing HIIT not only burns a lot of calories during the exercise, but it keeps your metabolic rate elevated for an extended period of time—up to 48 freakin’ hours.
Essentially, you can perform a HIIT workout on Monday and still be burning calories from that workout on Wednesday. Obviously, if you perform High Intensity Interval workouts two to three times per week, you can walk around with a consistently elevated metabolic rate.
When you factor in the caloric deficit from dieting, as well as your normal weight training, you can see how adding HIIT into the mix will lead to extreme fat loss.
… and since I don’t wanna leave you hanging, here’s a quick 12 minute HIIT sprint workout you can try tomorrow.
Warm up with a 4 minute jog.
Run with at least 85% of your VO2 max during the “work” periods, and slow it down to a walk or a very slow jog for the “rest” periods. Ready?
Keep in mind, this is a fairly advanced program, but the great thing about it is that you determine how hard it is. Just run as hard as you can. If you can’t keep the pace, don’t sweat it, slow down. Continue with this program twice per week.Cooldown: 2 minute jog, 1 minute walk
If you don’t vomit at least once, I will be either very impressed, or call you a little bitch. Depends on my mood.