It seems everyone is looking for an easy fat loss strategy these days. Although it isn’t easy to perform, I highly recommend High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for exceptional fat loss results.
Interval training is an exercise strategy alternating periods of hard exercise effort with lower intensity recovery periods. Unlike your traditional cardio workouts in the gym that might have you on a treadmill or elliptical trainer for 45 plus minutes, interval training workouts are much shorter (usually 5-20 minutes). These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and conditioning, improved glucose metabolism, and accelerated use of stored fat for fuel in the hours after the HIIT workout is over.
Don’t expect this short workout to be a walk in the park, though! It is very intense if done right. This is one of the reasons a HIIT session is shorter than a traditional cardio workout.
It’s important to do a proper warm up before engaging in high intensity exercise. If you are new to exercise, I recommend that you have at least 10 minutes of warm up time, and then approach the higher intensity intervals in a step-wise manner, adding on additional cycles of exercise as you become more fit.
For example, you might do 30 seconds of higher intensity exercise followed by 90 seconds of lower intensity exercise, and repeat this cycle only 3-5 times. As you become more fit, you can increase the number of cycles you do, and also decrease your recovery time a bit.
There really is no ideal time for work/recovery cycles. With interval training, you can mix it up! One day you might do intervals of 40 seconds hard work/20 seconds recovery. Another day you might do a 20/10 split. The key to effective interval training is to work HARD on the high intensity segments (about a 9 on a scale of 1-10 once you’ve built up a good conditioning base).
With regard to what types of exercises you can do in a HIIT workout–the sky is the limit! Combining sprinting with slower running (or walking) is a simple way to do HIIT. You can also use a variety of cardio machines at your gym, or utilize any number of calisthenic-type exercises right in your own back yard.
For an idea on how to put together a HIIT workout, please check out a video I did for my customers. It’s a sample HIIT program you can do in your own backyard.
As San Jose personal trainer for many years, I’ve recommended HIIT as a means to better fat loss results for hundreds of my clients. Although it’s really hard while you’re doing it—-you’re exercising for a fraction of the time of a typical gym goer. I call that good exercise math ……..MORE results……..LESS time .:-D.
Committed to your success,