If you are ready to burn fat and turn back the years, you have to HIIT it. No, that wasn’t a misspelling; I said HIIT. High-Intensity Interval Training. HIIT training can get you in fantastic shape in less time than just about any other type of workout you can do.
High-Intensity Interval Training is an exercise routine in which you work your body at a high-intensity level for a short period of time, then lower the intensity to allow for recovery, repeating this cycle until you have finished your workout.
An elliptical trainer has the features you need to perform this type of workout since you can vary the intensity of your workout by varying the resistance levels, incline levels, and the rate at which you peddle, or your “strides per minute”.
First of all, let’s talk a little about what HIIT really is. The principles of HIIT are such that you will perform a period of low-intensity exercise followed up a period of extremely high-intensity exercise, and alternate until the workout is complete. The workout will allow you to perform the sets or INTERVALS in succession with little to no rest at all.
A Typical Example Of HIIT
This results in a workout that will be much shorter in duration but much more effective in results. A typical High-Intensity Interval Session will only last about 20-30 minutes. Here is how a typical HIIT running workout might go:
1. four to five minutes of light jogging followed by
2. sixty seconds of jogging at about a 5-6 intensity followed by
3. thirty seconds of high intensity sprinting followed by
4. sixty seconds of jogging at about a 5-6 intensity followed by
5. thirty seconds of high intensity sprinting followed by
6. sixty seconds of jogging…you get the picture
When just starting out with HIIT training, you will want to stick to about 6 total intervals. As you advance in your training, you will want to progress to 8-10 intervals per HIIT training session. Once your intervals are complete, you will want to continue performing the light exercise, such as light jogging, until your heart rate returns to normal.
In study after study, HIIT training has been shown to be more effective at burning fat and calories than longer duration cardio workout such as long distance running. One study showed that 2.5 hours of HIIT interval training provided the same or better results than 10.5 hours of long distance endurance training. I don’t know about you, but a saving of 8 hours seems like a good reason to give HIIT a try.
HIIT isn’t just limited to running of course. You can apply the principles of HIIT to any cardio exercise you perform to greatly increase the benefits of the workout, while reducing the time it takes for you to reach your goals. Jumping rope, stair running, and riding bikes are all great exercises with which you can apply the principles of HIIT to maximise the effectiveness of your workouts.
One key thing to keep in mind though: Applying HIIT training is usually not as effective when applied to machine workouts because of the inherent limitations of the machines themselves and the difficulty of switching between intensities. It is much easier to just RUN faster than it is to program a machine and wait for it to catch up. The key to HIIT is to switch between intensity levels quickly.
This is an intense workout that has tremendous benefits for those who incorporate it into their regular exercise routines. Some of the benefits include:
Burn Fat After Your Workout – This is referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). It means your body continues to consume more oxygen recovering from this exercise than you would if you had completed an exercise at a moderate level and steady pace.
Increased Fitness Level – This exercise is effective at increasing your VO2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you can uptake during exercise. Since your body can utilize more oxygen, your fitness levels improve and will see improvements in performance and endurance.
Increase Human Growth Hormone – High-Intensity Interval Training stimulates the production of human growth hormone by up to 450% during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. Human growth hormone is an anti-aging hormone that is responsible for building and maintaining muscle mass, improving sexual function and desire, and achieving a more youthful appearance.
Retain Muscle – Steady state workouts tend to reduce your muscle mass as you lose weight. High-Intensity Interval Training and weight training have been shown to maintain or increase muscle mass, so the weight you lose will be in the form of fat.
The good news is it’s never too late to start exercising. Just keep in mind, if you haven’t exercised in a long time, older muscles don’t react well to strenuous exercise without being broken in first. So, make sure to take precaution and take it slow when first beginning any exercise.
HIIT is one of the best ways to get the most bang for your buck. Studies have shown that HIIT can potentially burn 900% more fat than typical aerobic exercise. During HIIT, you raise your heart rate to an anaerobic threshold for 20-30 seconds followed by a 90-second rest. You should repeat this process 10 times.
High end new or refurbished elliptical trainers have a number of features that allow you to design a wide variety of exercise programs. HIIT is one program that can give you tremendous benefits in a short amount of time.
You can compare HIIT and traditional, long bouts of low-intensity cardio by looking at the difference in the physiques of sprinters vs. marathon runners.
A sprinter (who uses HIIT training) has a very lean muscular body while marathon runners (who use long bouts of low-intensity cardio) have very thin bodies. Many marathon runners look emaciated because they are actually burning vital muscle during this type of exercise.
Super-Slow Concentrated Weight Lifting- Any form of weightlifting can also be especially beneficial for the elderly. The bones become softer and more porous the older we get. Many elderly folks think the only way to fight osteoporosis is by taking drugs that contain toxic chemicals. Picking up the weight can fight muscular atrophy and increase bone density.