Maximize Your Time With High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a training technique designed to improve performance through short workout sessions. HIIT has also been touted as one of the most effective methods for fat loss and cardiovascular fitness. It is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout when you are short on time.
An HIIT workout is typically short in length and comprised of specific work to rest ratios. Most commonly the work to rest ratio is 2 to 1 but it can also be a 1 to 1 ratio. A typical HIIT workout should begin with a brief warm-up, at least five minutes, to get the blood and oxygen flowing and the muscles primed for action. Once thoroughly warm up, the intervals begin. This part of the workout should last anywhere between fifteen to twenty minutes but no more. It is typically comprised of six to ten cycles of high intensity work followed by a brief recovery. The workout should then conclude with a cool-down and stretch. In total, the entire workout usually lasts about thirty minutes. Due to the intense nature of HIIT workouts, they should be limited to two or three times a week.
According to a few studies, HIIT elevates resting metabolic rate (RMR) for the 24 hours following the workout due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which is accompanied by an increased expenditure of calories. What does this mean in layman's terms? HIIT keeps your metabolism raised and burns a lot of calories during the 24 hour period post-workout.
Exercise intervals are one of the best ways to lose weight and gain fitness in a short amount of time. Looking for an even shorter workout? How about only four minutes? Tabata training takes interval training to the next level. It is a very intense high intensity interval training protocol yet it only lasts four minutes. But, when done right, those four minutes will leave you begging for mercy.
Intense Interval Training: The Tabata Method
Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers developed the training technique. The Tabata is structured in intervals of 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by only 10 seconds of rest. This pattern is repeated for a total of 8 cycles – or four minutes. Sounds easy, but it's not. While the structure of the workout is rather simple, the actual execution is quite difficult.
To maximize the effectiveness of the Tabata, select an exercise that utilizes the larger muscle groups of the body, examples include squats, pull-ups, kettlebell swings or push-ups. Then, in the 20 second work interval perform as many repetitions as possible; rest 10 seconds and only 10 seconds; repeat seven more times. The Tabata can also be adapted to use with any cardiovascular exercise such as sprinting, jump rope, mountain climbers or burpees. If you perform the Tabata exactly as designed, you will agree that it is indeed a simple yet extremely intense training method.