High Intensity Interval Training – Blast Away The Fat With Short Intense Workouts


Every day, hundreds of articles are published in leading scientific journals which are directly related to exercise and its effects on the human body. We are amazingly fortunate that we can take advantage of millions of dollars of research and use it to develop the body of our dreams! However, sometimes science goes against popular convention, and this is never more true than in your local gym.

Ever see the same person on the elliptical, day after day, month after month, making little to no progress in the fight against fat? Or how about the person who spends two hours per day doing cardio, is unbelievably skinny, but has no shape or tone? What if I told you that you can lose more fat and keep muscle tone in less than one quarter of the time it takes to perform an hour long cardio session? More is not better with cardio, it is the intensity that matters because higher intensity cardio will lead to greater fat burning after the exercise is completed. This means you are burning fat all day and all night as a result of just one short cardio session. Read on to learn about the birth of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) in Japanese laboratories, the benefits it gives you, and also a short tutorial on how it is performed.

Dr. Tabata of the National Health & Nutrition Institute in Tokyo, Japan set out to find the perfect aerobics protocol. He postulated that the perfect aerobics protocol would include the following elements:

  • High Intensity – Dr. Tabata knew that high intensity workouts lead to a stimulation of the metabolism which causes more calories to be burned over the next 48 hours.
  • Fitness Promoting – The exercise would be Aerobic (cardiovascular) and Anaerobic (muscle toning). The more fit you are, the more likely you are to use fat for energy all day long.
  • Brief – Too much aerobics burns muscle, and this is not good for the metabolism or the quest to become lean.

Dr. Tabata separated subjects into two groups. One group performed high intensity exercise for a short time, and the other performed moderate-intensity exercise for an hour per day. The results showed that the high intensity subjects had a 14% increase in VO2 (aerobic fitness) and a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity (muscle power). The moderate-intensity subjects had only a 10% increase in VO2 and no increase in anaerobic capacity even though they were exercising more than 4 times as long.

By taking this information and examining the workouts of the National Speed Skating Team, he was able to formulate his ideal cardio training protocol.

What other benefits are there of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)?

  • HIIT increases aerobic capacity and burns fat.
  • HIIT suppresses the appetite.
  • HIIT improves sports performance and sprinting capabilities.
  • HIIT engenders better post-exercise energy usage and fat utilization.
  • HIIT improves aerobic recovery abilities (climb up a flight of stairs without getting winded!)
  • Recovery from the HIIT workout causes more calories to be burned.
  • GH (Growth Hormone) is released into the blood, called by some people “The Fountain of Youth.”
  • HIIT Tones muscles.
  • The HIIT sessions themselves are not catabolic (meaning muscle will not be used for energy, as in the case of long slow cardio).
  • HIIT increases your lactic acid threshold (less “burn” when performing exercise).

Given these benefits, you’re probably chomping at the bit to perform some High Intensity Interval Training. The basic idea is to go fast and then slow. Ideally you want to perform the exercise just long enough to spark the metabolism so that you can burn fat all day, but not so long that it eats away at your muscles. HIIT is well suited to any form of exercise where you can really get your heart rate up. A recumbent bicycle at the gym works great, since you don’t have to think about anything other than pushing yourself to the limit. HIIT originated as a sprinting exercise, so you can get started right now by lacing up some sneakers and heading out the front door.

Warm up for 5 minutes with a brisk jog.

Sprint for 20 seconds at maximal effort.

Walk for 15 seconds.

Repeat sprinting and walking seven more times for a total of eight sprints.

Cool down for 5 minutes with a brisk jog.

High Intensity Interval Training requires lots of recovery time between workout sessions, so perform it a maximum of three times per week. You will also want to challenge yourself by increasing the effort on each session.

Now you know how to perform HIIT, you know why you should perform HIIT, and you know how HIIT originated. Probably the hardest thing to do now is to ignore the conventional “more cardio is better” conditioning that plagues gyms worldwide. If you can get past this hurdle (excuse the pun), then you’ll be shaking your head at those ladies on the elliptical who are wasting hours per week and getting nowhere, as you strut by in your new an improved figure!

Source by Matt Barlow