We are going to concentrate on the benefits of interval training and provide you with a better understanding of successful training techniques. There’s a common misconception among the fitness community about not exercising enough. A lot of people believe that you cannot exercise too much and that more is better. However, overtraining can be just as bad as not exercising at all.
No exercise can demonstrate the dangers of overexertion better than long-distance running. Generally, we regard tri-athletes and marathon runners as the example of peak fitness and goals.
Researcher Dr. James O’Keefe, the head of Preventive Cardiology at the Mid America Heart Institute at Saint Luke’s Health System, states that marathon running or other kinds of overexertion are very dangerous for the human body.
When we are at our ‘resting heart rate’, our hearts pump out about five quarts of blood. When we are running, our hearts pump out about 25 to 30 quarts.
That’s a big difference! And the heart was not designed to keep up that level of pumping for hours on end or day after day.
The heart muscles overstretch themselves to keep up with the physical demands of marathon running or continual long-distance running. Too much running has been linked to shorter life expectancy.
That’s shocking, right? Recent studies have even shown that long-distance runners have the same life expectancy as coach-potatoes!
Thankfully, global health authorities have been researching the best exercises for cardiovascular health and fat loss. High-intensity interval training, commonly referred to as HIIT workouts, have provided the answers health researchers have been looking for.
The World Health Organization (WHO)
Recommends that “Adults aged 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. Or, do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week. This would be an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity activity.” High-intensity exercises may finally be gaining the recognition it deserves.
So What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?
High-Intensity training combines short, high burst-energy exercises with slow periods of recovery repeated through 15-20 minute training sessions.
The training session is completed at 85-100 % of someone’s maximum heart rate, rather than at the 50-75% of moderate intensity exercise. This means that you are working harder than ever and you can feel the difference.
High-intensity interval training, or burst training, is essentially pushing yourself to the maximum effort and then taking short rest periods. It is a workout that can really be completed anywhere, whether at home, at the gym, or at your favorite community park.
High-intensity interval training isn’t really a new exercise, though it has gained a lot of popularity more recently. Professional athletics and Olympians have known this exercising secret for decades. They continue to use it for one simple reason: it produces amazing results.
One result of high-intensity interval training is that the exercises are anti-aging. That’s right, HIIT workouts can actually block the expression of certain genetics linked to features of aging.
HIIT can also be a great workout plan to reduce fat because it regulates the hormones that cause hunger. High-intensity interval training pushes your fitness limits and burns excess fat quickly.
It requires high levels of energy to perform and promote cardiovascular health as well as muscle strengthening. Increasing the amount of muscle on the body can also boost your metabolic rate. This will help with fat burn even after the work out is over.
What Are Some HIIT Workouts?
The great thing about high-intensity interval training is that the exercises can be performed at home or at the gym. A lot of machines at the gym also have HIIT programs pre-installed into the machines. So at the press of a button, you can reform how you exercise.
HIIT can be performed while running, where you alternate between walking or jogging and 30-second episodes of sprinting as fast as you can. The amount of energy that goes into a HIIT run versus a moderate run can reduce your exercise time by half with the same, if not improved, results.
One of the best HIIT workouts that can easily be done at home or at the gym is burpees. They are a great exercise to add to any workout routine because the exercise is constantly pushing your body to the next level.
This exercise targets major muscle groups as well as utilize cardiorespiratory effort. Your core, quads, hamstrings, and arms get involved in the movements required to complete a burpee. Meanwhile, you start sweating and get your heart beating!
It is a great exercise that can be completed rapidly with short cool off periods in between. Try 45 seconds of burpees followed by 30 seconds of jogging in place.
If you really want to focus on your abdominal muscles, try 45 seconds of quick mountain climbers followed by 45 seconds of alternate side lunges. This way, you target those lower-ab muscles if anyone is struggling with stubborn belly fat.
You can also target your inner-thigh muscles with them. You could also alternate between mountain climbers and crunches. Switch between mountain climbers and squats to keep at those ab muscles during the entirety of your workout.
The ARC trainer is a machine that has a phenomenal and killer HIIT workout pre-programmed into its system. If you have access to this piece of exercise equipment at your local gym, I suggest you try this program and feel the burn. You will be sweaty so quickly and exhausted by the end of your workout.
Pre-Programmed HIIT in Other Gym Machines
Several treadmills, elliptical, and cycling machines also have HIIT workouts preprogrammed as well. These automated programs are designed to push you to your max for about 30-45 seconds. Then followed by 5-10 minutes of moderate intensity exercise afterward.
You’ll be moving the entire time, but really pushing your muscles and heart during those high-intensity intervals. A lot of gyms may be offering high-intensity interval training classes as well. Tell a friend and get going!
Check Out Interval Training Classes
It’ll be a great way to make progress on your fitness goals. You will be pushed by a community environment and supportive trainer. You’ll also be able to get instruction about properly completing exercises and movements to get the best results for your time.
Interval training is a great way to mix up your fitness routine. You can really turn any activity or practice into a high-intensity interval workout.
If it’s leg day, try weighted squats as your burst exercise. Follow them with lunges or high knees to keep those quad muscles active.
Ease Into Any New Fitness Activity
As always, be careful when experimenting with a new fitness activity. You want to make sure that you are performing exercises and movements correctly to prevent injury or extreme muscle damage.
If you have any medical conditions or heart concerns, please speak with your doctor before engaging with high-intensity interval training.
High-intensity activities are a great way to shorten your work out time with better results. If you’re someone who loves using lack of time as an excuse to skip the gym then you’re out of luck.
HIIT doesn’t require a lot of time to blast that fat and strengthen your muscles. High-intensity interval training will push you in your fitness routine. This will give you an opportunity to explore your body’s capabilities.
At the same time, HIIT is boosting your metabolism and hitting those hard to get rid of fat storing areas. High-intensity interval training can be a fun, mentally stimulating activity that will advance you with your fitness progress or weight loss.
A helpful article by WebMD: High-Intensity Workouts: Burn Calories Better & Longer