It's amazing, year in – year out; there are countless looking for the newest and best way to lose weight and / or build muscle. Everyone's looking for that one routine that's going to help them look like Brad Pitt or Jessica Biel.
And in response to that need, there's a crazy industry devoted to building some of weirdest gimmicks to sell to these people.
The basic reality to losing weight, burning fat, and gaining muscle (or any combination there) is discipline and determination. You need the basic discipline to stay with a program (any program) for the long haul and the determination to reach your goal. Pretty simple.
The rest are tools. And the tools can be very basic. One of the best ways requires a decent pair of running shoes and an open field or street or track, as in high school race track.
It's called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It is an excellent way to burn fat.
HIIT basically alternates really intense cardio exercise with not so intense cardio. And the whole shebang takes about 15 minutes, maybe.
Here's how it works:
- On a race track – sprint as hard as you can for a half lap (either 200m or 220 yards), light jog or trot for a quarter lap and that is one set. Your objective is to do 10 sets.
- At a park or on a street – find a straightaway that you can sprint for 30 to 40 seconds. One set is a sprint followed by a light jog back to your start position. Again, your objective is 10 sets.
Couple of notes:
- You must warm up for 5 to 10 minutes before starting the intervals.
- First 2 to 3 sets, you should run at 60 to 80%, building up to absolute all out sprint from set 4 on.
- At no time should you stop movement, either you are sprinting or jogging lightly.
- At the end, cool down – that is, continuing jogging lightly to "catch" your breath.
Really important note:
- If you are just starting out or in terrible shape – go easy. For the first 3 or 4 sessions, you should not be sprinting at a 100%. Just as you pyramid each session to 100% effort by set 4, you should also pyramid your whole routine.
- If you go 100% on day one, you will kill yourself. You should take a couple of weeks to build up.
- At the end of an all out set, you should be gulping for air like there is not enough oxygen in the world for you, or you really did not go all out.
- Shoot to work out 3 times a week, but if it's too hard initially, rest 2 days between workouts.
Really, really important note:
- If you are completely out of shape or just beginning an active lifestyle, start even slower.
- Instead of sprinting half lap and jogging a quarter lap; you should just do a quarter lap followed by a quarter lap.
- Or, pick a straightaway, be it side street, park, or race track that you can sprint for 15 seconds. That's your set – 15 second sprint followed by a 45 second jog. And start with maybe 5 or 6 sets and build up to 10 sets. And as you build up your sets, run a little longer each time and build up to a 30 second sprint.
- This is hard, really hard. So, it is better to ease into it.
Why it works:
- At the end of a HIIT workout, you are still amped up. Your heartbeat is up, you are sucking for air, and you have absolute depleted all your energy cells. An hour after your workout, your heartbeat is still up (if you really put all out). What that means to you is that you are still burning calories. Sure you may have burned more calories during that 45 minute jog but once the jog is over, it's over. Not so with HIIT, your body is burning calories the next day, recovering – now that is sweet.
- Some say the sprinting temporary puts your body in a "fight or flight" state and that means fat burning.
- HIIT also builds muscle, and that muscle triggers extra calorie burning for you.
What's the Benefit?
- Seen a sprinter, they look great. They are lean and muscular without the outsized bodybuilder look. Want to look like them, workout like them, simple no.
- Next time you're in a pickup game of touch football, you'll have both the speed and stamina to do great.
- Running hard works your torso, oblique's, gluts, quads, on and on – all the body parts that look great on a gal when it's lean. It's the hard body look. Who would not want that?
In conclusion , you invest in a decent pair of shoes and 20 to 25 minutes tops every other day; and you reap the dividends of a great, lean muscular physique. Because the best way to lose weight and burn fat with HIIT only requires those two – Nice.
Now who needs all those late night gimmicks?