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December 26, 2012

Beat the Holiday bulge with HIIT!

““Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”  Plato

What is HIIT?  HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a unique exercise routine that is intended to eliminate excess body fat. HIIT consists of quick bursts of intense exercise over a short period of time. The principle behind this method is that the body works so hard during the intense workout so it continues to expend energy- even after the workout is over.  HIIT is different than regular interval training because it involves alternating low intensity with maximal energy (100% effort) exercises.  Whereas regular interval training involves alternating low and mod/high intensity exercises.

Why is better than steady state cardio? HIIT is anabolic for your muscles instead of catabolic, so it maintains your muscles instead of breaking them down.  It is also better for fat loss. Learn more from Dr. Jacob Wilson here.

How can it be done?  Practicing HIIT 1-3 times a week is a good start. Preferably on non-leg days. My favorite is alternating walking with sprints because I can complete it outside or on the treadmill.  Remember that the low intensity part must allow your heart rate to drop significantly.  But HIIT can be applied to almost anything, but these are the best forms:

  • Deadmills
  • Cycle Sprints
  • Stationary Bike Sprints
  • Sled push sprints

Example for Beginners: 10″ high / 50″ low (3 sets)

Example for Intermediates:  15″ high / 45″ low (4 sets)

Example for Advanced:  15″ high / 30″ low (5 sets)

You should be working so hard that you feel like you are going to pass out after each sprint! 100% exertion! Give it everything.

See some in action here:

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGS7a2ZGbOc[/responsive_video]

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’0′ hide_logo=’0′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’0′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TyxJXzjDuI[/responsive_video]


What does research show?


A 2001 study from East Tennessee State University demonstrated findings with subjects who followed an 8-week HIIT program (subjects dropped 2 percent in body fat) as compared to those who followed a continuous steady-state program (subjects had no percentage drop in body fat) on a treadmill.


A study from Australia reported that females following a 20-minute HIIT program, consisting of 8-second sprints followed by 12 seconds of rest, lost six times more body fat than the group who followed a 40-minute cardio program performed at a constant intensity of 60 percent of their maximum heart rate.workout12b

Get Started!  Once you have a stop watch you are ready to go!  Come up with a plan to do 1-3 days a week of HIIT.  And lets see if it helps boost your progress.

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  • When would be best do perform hiit training? Would
    You recommend doing hiit on low intensity days or high intensity

    • MOrning is best to rev up your metabolism for the entire rest of the day while you are getting your meals in. But obviously that is not always possible due to busy schedules. So really anytime works. Everyday should be hi-instensity in the gym.

  • I am show prepping for my first bikini comp. Would you recommend 20 mins of 8 sec sprints 12 seconds power walk every day?

    • Sammy, yea you can do that. After a week or two of that, change it up a bit. Maybe 12 sprint, 18 rest. Then up to 15 sprint, 20 rest. Whatever you want really. Just slowly increase it. Or vary it so your body stays challenged. COnsider doing uphill sprints even!

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