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HIIT Program

What is a HIIT Workout?

Interval ExerciseHigh-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an enhanced form of cardio interval training in which you alternate periods of short high intense intervals with slow less intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4–40 minutes, meaning that it is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout in a limited amount of time. These short, intense workouts provide improved metabolism, improved fat burning and cardiovascular conditioning.

A HIIT session often consists of a warm up period of exercise, followed by three to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by medium intensity exercise for recovery, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise is done at near maximum intensity, (working at a level of 8-9 on a perceived rate of exertion chart). The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise, but may be as little as three repetitions with just 20 seconds of intense exercise.

 A common formula involves a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods, for example, 200–40 seconds of an intensive workout, like sprinting alternated with 10–20 seconds of rest or a slow intensive workout like jogging or walking.

Traditional recommendations for physical fitness have taken a different approach, emphasizing moderate aerobic activity for at least 30 minutes, three to five days a week. Recent studies, however, have shown that higher intensity exercise can be equally, if not more effective for improving health and aiding fat loss. Moreover, the workouts can be done in just a few short sessions per week. High-intensity sessions also appear to make lower intensity exercise sessions much easier.

For health, HIIT has been shown to improve markers of cardiovascular disease by reducing fasting glucose, improving insulin sensitivity, increasing aerobic fitness, raising (“good”) HDL cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and decreasing body fat. Research has shown that 3-4 HIIT workout a week done for a month can burn anywhere from 7-10% of body fat.

HIIT technique can be applied either as a separate exercise plan in case that you are in a hurry, or as an intense complement to your existing plan. HIIT training can literally have hundreds of forms. Depending on your objectives, combine exercises, tools and time intervals to obtain the optimal result.

Man looking at watchBenefits of a HIIT Workout…

 Efficient

Super-efficient HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule—whether you want to squeeze in a workout during your lunch break or to get in shape for a fast-approaching event. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than jogging on the treadmill for an hour.  According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.

 Burn More Fat and Increase Metabolism

Not only do you burn more calories during a HIIT workout, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after, say, a steady-pace run. HIIT stimulates production of your Human Growth Hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent, which will help to increase your calorie burn.

 Healthier Heart

Most people aren’t used to pushing into the anaerobic zone (that place where you can’t breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But in this case, extreme training produces extreme results.

Lose Weight, Not Muscle

Anyone who has been on a diet knows that it’s hard to not lose muscle mass along with fat. While a steady state of cardio seems to encourage muscle loss, studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscles while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores. Win/win!

 Do It Anywhere

 Since HIIT is such a simple concept—go at maximum effort for a short period of time followed by a recovery period and repeat—you can adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have.

 Push your limits

HIIT forces you to work harder than you ever thought possible.

It gives you the confidence you never knew you needed. It makes you stronger and fitter than ever before.

Understanding Your Heart Rate

Woman Heart rateYour heart rate is measured by the amount of times it beats per minute. During a rested period, a lower heart rate is actually optimal. This is because a stronger heart pumps more blood to your system per beat than a weaker heart, thus requiring less beats per minute.

Your heart is a muscle — it becomes stronger as you exercise it. During an aerobic workout, large groups of your body’s muscles are used over an extended period of time.

When being worked this way, your muscles demand oxygen. The harder you work your muscles the more oxygen they require. This oxygen is supplied to your muscles from your lungs through the bloodstream. As a result, your heart pumps faster during a workout in an effort to deliver the additional oxygen that your muscles are demanding.

Measuring your heart rate using a heart rate monitor is a good way to gauge the effectiveness of your workout because as you strengthen your body through exercise you also strengthen your heart. Measuring the rate of your heart during exercise can help you determine when you’re pushing your body too hard or need to push it harder to achieve the level of fitness you are seeking.

MyZone Heart Rate Monitor

MYZONE® is a chest strap and monitoring system that transmits heart rate, calories and effort in real time to a live display and wirelessly uploads that data to a logbook that can be accessed online.

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