Steady-State Cardio (running, biking, walking for 30 – 60 min) or High Intensity Intervals (30 sec full out and 90 sec rest)…Which is best for fat loss and muscle gain? Data seems to state that both offer benefits, but in surprising ways. Steady-State Cardio won’t provide a big fat loss or muscle gain, but strengthens the heart, reduces stress (lowering cortisol levels) and improves recovery times when done consistently. Read on to learn the benefits of HIIT Training and Read our previous article “Exercise Makes You Smarter” to learn about the other benefits.
Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training
- Burns More Fat – 1994 study at Laval University in Quebec, Canada, found HIIT was nine times more effective for losing fat than steady-state cardio. The Journal of Obesity2 reported that 12 weeks of HIIT not only can result in significant reductions in total abdominal, trunk, and visceral fat, but also can give you significant increases in fat-free mass and aerobic power.
- More Benefits in Less Time – Just six HIIT workouts performed over two or three weeks, each lasting just a few minutes, produced measurable improvements in key markers of cardiovascular health, a 2012 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found.
- Can be Done With Your Favorite Exercises – Because you can incorporate interval training and increased intensity with almost any exercise, you are more likely to continue doing it on a more regular basis. You choose the type of exercise and the time of intervals and rests.
- 3x Per Week vs Every Day – Due to the intensity of the short bouts of exercises you complete, you increase the EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption) and therefore reap benefits of increased fat loss and blood circulation long after the exercise ends. Studies show that the higher the intensity, the greater the EPOC and the greater the caloric expenditure after exercise.
- Increases Your Muscle Mass and Strength – Studies have shown that high intensity workouts cause your body to produce greater amounts of HGH (Human Growth Hormone). Think – stronger muscles, younger skin, quicker recovery, improved circulation
- Anti-Aging Free Radical Production – Because we know exercise does not produce much fat loss, we need to evaluate the other benefits derived from it. High-intensity training produces free radicals but it triggers an abundance of repair peptides, enzymes and hormones to be released. This causes healthy tissue repair, improved body composition and anti-aging qualities.
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity – A MSSE study found that unfit but otherwise healthy middle-aged adults were able to improve their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation after just two weeks of interval training (three sessions per week). A follow-up study also found that people with full-blown type 2 diabetes after just one interval training session were able to improve blood sugar regulation for the next 24 hours.
- Improved Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Health – Due to the intensity of the short bursts of exercise your heart is forced to push more oxygen through your system. This “fight or flight” response has been shown to greatly improve cardiovascular health and be safer than steady state exercise for those with existing heart disease.Learn more at: http://www.naturalnews.com/034704_intermittent_fasting_fitness_HGH.html#ixzz4LrGATKnu
How Do I Do a HIIT/ Burst/ Interval Training Workout?
- Warm up for 2 – 3 minutes with some light dynamic stretching to prepare the body for the high intensity motion.
- Exercise as hard and fast as you can (80% of your maximum heart rate) for 5 seconds to 8 minutes (we like the 30 second intervals). You want to get your heart rate up to your calculated maximum heart rate. A sign that you’re giving it enough effort is when you’re gasping for breath, couldn’t talk with a partner and feel like you couldn’t possibly go on another few seconds. You decide the exercise (common ones are running sprints, burpees, bike sprints, jumping jacks, squats, or even fast walking).
- Recover and Rest between intervals. Rest for as long as you need to get your breathing and heart rate back down to normal. This can be anywhere from 10 seconds to 4 minutes and will not alter the effectiveness of the intervals. You can either just slow down your movements or stop completely.
- Repeat the high-intensity exercise and recovery five to seven more times, for a total of six or eight repetitions, depending on your level of fitness. At first go for a shorter time and less intervals because your muscles, lungs and heart need to adapt to the new routine. As your lungs get stronger, you can increase the duration – or you can just increase your intensity.
- Cool down, move slowly and stretch for about three minutes or longer until your heart rate and breathing return to normal.
Cauliflower Moment…exercising for hours at the gym doesn’t make us lose more fat and get healthier – it’s actually the shorter, more intense sessions that gives us these results.