High Intensity Interval Training
Happy Monday Everyone!
Hope everyone had a happy and productive weekend, hopefully you found some time to do something for yourself.
Friday was a sprint and swimming day, which meant that my boyfriend and I drove to the local high school and ran around the track. We started with a casual 400 meter run (which is one lap in case you forgot). Then we decided to do 6- 200 meter sprints with 200 meter jogs in between each sprint. Not an easy task, refer to my “why you should sprint” blog. So to say the lease by the third sprint I literally thought I was going to die. Not to mention that it was high noon and I was sweating my ass off. But I made it, all six 200 meter sprints.
After the run it was swimming time. Six was the magic number today, so I did 6- 50 meter sprints with 10 second rest in between each 50 meters. By the end of the day I slept like a baby. Saturday was a bike ride and swim. I finally made the plunge and put clip-ins on my bike and for my birthday my mom bought me some pretty sweet road bike shoes. I have been putting off getting road biking shoes for a while because I am terrified of falling off of my bike while clipped in. So Saturday was my bike clipping in practice day. My boyfriend’s dad rode with me and coached me of the proper biking technique, it took a couple tries and a few close calls with a couple semis but I figured it out.
Towards the end of the bike ride I came up to a stop sign, practiced clipping my right foot out, according to protocol, and instigively leaned to the left. Keep in mind my left foot was still clipped in which resulted in me losing my balance and falling over. It was all kind of in slow motion, I think I was laughing all the way down realizing that I had made a typical biking rooky mistake. Other than a few scrapes on my hand and knees I was fine. A few crash and burns are to be expected while on a road bike, I am sure I have more battle wound stories ahead of me.
At the end of the bike ride:
Sunday was a beautiful hike in Vallecito Colorado, a nice hilly 10 miles round trip. Today was rest day, but this is what the rest of the week looks like.
Tuesday: Bike and Swim
Wednesday: Weights and Sprints HIIT
Friday: Swim and Weights
Tonight I would like to talk about the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, AKA HIIT training. Keep in mind that HIIT Training isn’t for the faint of heart or for rookies. A true HIIT training session is quick and very difficult. So don’t start this kind of workout if you are just now trying to get back into shape. With that disclaimer I will answer the question all of you might be wondering, what is HIIT training?!
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is cardio performed at such an intense level that your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover from the ass-kicking you gave it. This is commonly referred to as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from the exercise bout than you would have if you’d just done a steady-state workout.
This means that you will be burning up to nine times fatter while sitting on the couch later that night than you would have if you’d spent an hour on the treadmill at a moderate pace.
Obviously, I am talking about intense training. You will need to push yourself out of that comfort zone you have gotten used to and really challenge yourself. If you are willing to do this, however, I can guarantee that you will spend less than half the time you usually do on those machines and get much leaner in the process.
What are the benefits of HIIT?!
HIIT training has a number of benefits in addition to the reduction in training time. First of all when you perform long-duration, moderate-intensity exercise, you can actually put yourself in a catabolic state in which you will start losing muscle mass. That’s right: Some of that hard-earned muscle will start degrading itself in your quest to get lean.
The reason is that there are two types of muscle fibers in your body: fast twitch and slow twitch.
Slow twitch fibers are more compatible with endurance training (such as a steady-state one-hour run), whereas fast twitch fibers are more compatible with short, intense bouts of exercise (such as weightlifting or sprinting).
When we train in one of these modes, our muscle tissue has a tendency to take on the appropriate properties. As an illustration, remember the illustration of the marathon runner and the sprinter I talked about last week? The sprinter is composed of fast twitch muscles and carries a great deal more muscle mass, whereas the marathoner has a lot of thin, slow twitch muscle fibers so that his body is as light as possible to transport across those great distances.
This is going to the extreme to prove a point; however, you can see where I am going with this. Bottom line try doing some HIIT training exercises next time in your gym. Mark my word, after just a few you will be crying like a little girl but so will your body fat.
There are a few different ways to do HIIT training.
You can either do all-out sprints or you can do sprints that are just below your VO2 max (approx 80% of your max heart rate) for a slightly longer period with an adequate recovery as well.
For the first option, warm up at a comfortable intensity for 5 minutes. Then, give your maximum effort for 15 to 30 seconds, followed by a 2-minute recovery. You can walk during the recovery or you can just take it down to a very light jog, depending on your current level of fitness. More than likely, though, you will be going so hard that you will need to walk during the recovery. Perform between 6 and 10 of these intervals, and finish with a cool down.
For the second option, do the same warm-up as in the first option, and then sprint at approximately 80% of your maximum intensity for 45 seconds to 1½ minutes. Follow this with a 1- to 2-minute recovery period. You may find that your recovery periods are shorter since you aren’t running quite as intensely as in the first option. Repeat this sequence for 5 to 8 intervals, and follow it with a cool down.