Warning: People who love doing high intensity training without care for correct form and perfect technique should stop reading now.
Are you still exercising for hours and hours in the gym, or running long distances trying to burn some fat? If you are, then you might want to re-think your fat loss strategy. Running long distances or exercising for long periods could be bad for you, wear and tear on your joints, elevating your cortisol levels, stress on your heart, the list goes on. So if you want to achieve some fat loss, make yourself a little leaner, let me suggest a change in strategy that will have you training less and looking great in no time.
I recommend you try high intensity interval training (HIIT); it’s a far more efficient way to rid yourself of unwanted body fat. Why?
- You can exercise at a much higher intensity
Improving your athletic ability
- Your heat rate will stay higher even with the rest periods
Allowing you to burn more calories during exercise
- Increase you resting metabolic rate for up to 24 hours post HIIT
Burning more calories post exercise
- Improve glucose metabolism
Reduce your chance of developing diabetes
- Enhanced skeletal muscle fat oxidation
Your body will be more efficient at using stored fat for energy
You don't see many overweight footballers, basketball, badminton, or AFL players do you? Know why? They are basically performing HIIT while playing their games, constantly moving around in quick short bursts.
So what is high intensity interval training?
- Short bursts of intense exercise followed by a break
Something like a 50 meter sprint followed by a break
- How long should the break be?
1 : 3 work to rest ratio would be good, that would translate to 10s sprinting
and 30s break
- How hard should you sprint?
About 80% of your max heart rate
HIIT is not limited to just sprinting, there are many different ways to perform this type of training. Like?
- Circuit training with weights (like a lot of sessions we do at IFC)
- CrossFit – Which can be great when done correctly
- Running stairs with Aaron on Saturday afternoon (minus the margaritas after)
- Any form of exercise that gets your heart rate high and gives you some rest before going again could be classified as HIIT.
Before you attempt to get lean and ripped doing HIIT every day here are some things to consider.
- Build up some conditioning before going all out.
- Make sure your form is perfect, this goes for sprinting and body weight exercises as well.
- Spend time doing mobility work (see my last blog)
- Ensure your trainer is good enough to keep the exercises safe, especially when working at high intensity
Be sensible when thinking of signing up for crossfit or something similar if the exercises look dodgy, DON'T DO THEM!! And HIIT should not be your only form of training; it should be part of a complete program mixed together with a good strength program and a recovery component.
Speak with us to make sure your program is sound and your exercise form is safe.
Carl Jan De Vries