High intensity interval training is becoming a common component in weight loss and body building programs due to the fact that it speeds up the fat burning process.
Losing fat happens when you burn more calories than you consume. By creating a calorie deficiency, your body draws on your fat stores for energy.
What is unfortunate is that most people turn to traditional methods of cardio, hopping on treadmills or exercise bikes, running or pedaling at a constant speed for 30 minutes or more. These exercises obviously take up a lot of time, can be hard on your joints, tire you out and before long you're bored and you give it up. This is a common scenario.
What's more effective for burning calories is the high intensity interval training workout. It takes up less time, provides plenty of variety and burns the same if not more calories when compared to traditional calorie burning methods.
A high intensity interval training workout involves exercises which vary in pace from quite moderate and relaxed, to fast paced and intense. These exercises usually alternate between two levels of intensity in short spurts or durations.
By alternating between moderate and fast paced, your body is able to perform with much more intensity which normally can not be sustained for prolonged periods of time, and the moderate pace allows you to catch your breath in readiness for the next burst of high intensity.
A typical workout could look like (but is not restricted to) the following:
o A five minute warm up period to get things moving!
o Jog at a moderate pace for 1 minute.
o Sprint at full speed for 20 seconds.
o Repeat the jogging / sprinting process 6 to 10 times, depending on your fitness level.
o Cool down for 5 minutes.
The entire duration of this exercise session including your warm up and cool down should last between 15 and 20 minutes and it is not restricted to jogging / walking. You could alternate other exercises, as follows:
o Jump rope / march on the spot
o Cycling at varying speeds
o Burpees / march on the spot
The intense part of your workout must get the heart rate going while the moderate part should allow you to catch your breath, in readiness for your next high intensity burst. The main advantage of a high intensity interval training workout is that you will burn more calories in less time than you would by exercising at a steady pace for 30 minutes or more. The high intensity part of your interviews pushes your body's metabolism higher, burning more fat than if you were moving at a steady pace. This alone is reason enough to do intervals rather than steady paced cardio!
High intensity interval training workouts should be combined with resistance (weight) training exercise for maximum results, and should be performed after you have done your resistance training. Combining your high intensity interval training and resistance training sessions will quickly boost your metabolism and your body will start to correctly repair muscle afterwards (remember your post workout meal!). Normally, if you were doing traditional cardio exercises after your resistance training, your muscular growth would be impaired because your body would lapse into the post-weights anabolic phase.
High intensity interval training should most definitely be an important part of your fat loss or body building program due to both the time and effective benefits achieved by doing so.