By now, you've probably read many articles about the best way to lose that extra weight: about the value of high-intensity-interval-training (HIIT).
That acronym (HIIT) is thrown around so much any more that most people just assume they know what it is. However, among all the recommendations I see to perform HIIT, very few contain any practical information as to what to do or how to do it.
Well I don't want to explain the "why" again, as you've probably already heard that, this will be about the "how."
"How do I actually perform H.I.I.T. to MOST EFFECTIVELY AND EFFICIENTLY burn away that stubborn "extra" flab…"
(just in case you end up gaining a few holiday pounds here and there.) =)
I have to confess that I stumbled into this area somewhat accidentally at first. I used to think, like most people, that when it comes to getting a flat stomach (burning lots of fat), you need to do lots of boring cardio and spend hours in the gym.
You had to "put the time in…"
This was conventional wisdom, and it was even taught in most of my kinesiology classes. So I did it. I went to the gym every night after class (I was in college then) and did a long session of cardio and then did some weights. And I was in pretty good shape.
But then I really got into competing in karate and kickboxing and stopped going to the "regular gym" altogether. I trained in karate for many years before competing in kickboxing, which you may have heard me talk about before (this was before I opened Athlon). I was definitely in good shape back then. Here's a picture of me just after a match. (try to ignore the broken nose, I really did win the bout)
Karate training involves very intense bouts of exercise, (but only about 15 to 30 seconds worth), and then A LOT of standing around as your teacher (sensei) tells you where you went wrong, how to improve, and did some teaching of the next technique, etc.
You'd really be surprised at how much standing around one does when training in karate. But the bouts of activity after the rest periods are at your absolute 100% effort. There is no slacking off simply because you're "practicing" survival in a life/death situation. It's very intense. The mental aspects of karate training are very interesting and typically not what the lay-person thinks. But that's a whole other article.
The point here is that training only 3 to 4 nights per week max, with a lot of standing around, I became leaner than I ever had doing lots of cardio and weights, by a lot. In that picture above I was doing NO extended cardio bouts and NO weight lifting (just calisthenics), and hadn't been for years!
I quickly realized the value of "intensity" when training and my coaching of others became "intervals only" when doing "extra" exercise.
Later, many research studies and articles started coming out extolling the virtues of the method of training I had now been using for years. A more recent one written in 2006 by Dr. David Swain in the American College of Sports Medicine's journal is a good one to quickly review. He eloquently showed that "running burns twice as many calories as walking."
He showed that a 136 lb. person walking will burn 50 cal/mile. That person running will burn 100 cal/mile. This means a runner will burn 100 calories in roughly eight and a half minutes (or about 11 calories per minute), whereas the walker will burn 50 calories in 15 minutes (that's less than four calories per minute). The take home point here is the higher intensity exercise nearly triples the calorie consumption, and hence "flab consumption," compared to lower intensity exercise.
Fact: More intensity equals greater expenditure per minute.
There are two primary methods for programming a workout to take full advantage of this principle:
- Work to Rest Method Based on Time
- Work to Rest Method Based on Heart Rate
I go into detail about how to use these two methods as well as provide sample workouts in this month's newsletter. Be sure to read it right away.
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Looking forward to discussing this further,
P.S. If you've been struggling to achieve an optimum level of fitness and health and are serious about getting that area of your life handled once and for all (before the Holiday season is upon you) then click below and sign up for your FREE private consultation ($85 value). During this consult you'll receive detailed information on how you to get fit that's specific and tailored to you and your body type.