Many people new to exercise and wanting to lose weight will see long runs as the ideal way to shift the unwanted body fat. Cardio training is good but there are many better activities you can do to get rid of the weight you wish to lose. As a Personal Trainer in Llanelli I have tried many different exercises and tested their effects on fat loss and not many compare to HIIT!!!
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval training, I must point out that this is a very intense way of training and maybe not suitable for those of you who have no previous exercise experience.
Firstly I shall tell you the science behind HIIT. Low intensity as well and high intensity exercise helps us burn off body fat, it is believed that more body fat is burned during low intensity exercise, but exercising at a high intensity offers us a lot more. Firstly you burn a lot more calories during a high intensity session than a low one.
Secondly HIIT cranks up your metabolism dramatically and carries on burning body fat hours after your workout, this effect is pretty much non-existent for normal aerobic low intensity workouts. So the calories burned during the high intensity sessions and after the session outweighs the calories burned during a low intensity exercise session. If you just exercise at a low intensity then you are more likely to lose both fat as well as muscle, HIIT limits the loss of muscle as you lose weight!
How Do I work at a High Intensity?
You don’t need any fancy equipment you just need some space, running shoes and a stopwatch! An easy HIIT structure to follow could involve a 2 minute jog followed by a 30 second sprint, then build this up into a 1 minute jog followed by a 1 minute sprint, try doing this for around 15 minutes and you will be well on the way to blasting off that unwanted body fat. So basically what HIIT does is combine short intense anaerobic exercises with a low intensity recovery period. Sessions will last on average between 10 and 20 minutes.
Many people work using a ratio of 2:1 High intensity e.g. 40 seconds of maximal sprinting with 20 seconds of medium/low paced recovery jog or walk. Everyone is different so have a try around and if you are absolutely shattered after your first sprint then lessen the sprint time and increase the recovery, you should find a nice comfortable (as comfortable as HIIT can be) and gradually build it up week by week. You shouldn’t forget about all of your training and just focus on this, HIIT is a vital part of your overall fitness routine.
This type of training doesn’t only apply to running, you can use it for loads of activities as long as you keep a high intensity with low rest. Loads of gyms do specific HIIT classes now which are just 30 minutes of pretty much all out work. Spin classes involve HIIT methods so try one of them to start you off.
High Intensity Interval Training not only improves your cardiovascular endurance and VO2 Max it also has an overall great effect on your health. You are extremely less likely to suffer a heart attack if you are doing this type of training. Your lung capacity improves and is also linked to relieving stress which all of us suffer with in today’s world with all the pressures of work and raising a family.
Another great aspect of HIIT for you busy people out there is that it is a great way of getting a worthwhile session in without taking up too much of your time. Just remember though just because it takes less time it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easier, you really need a fairly good level of fitness before trying this.
So if you would like to boost your metabolism, burn calories, loose unwanted body fat, improve your overall health and listen to your very own Personal Trainer Llanelli then grab your stopwatch and get out there and do it, it really is a great and exciting way to train.