There is a myth in the gym world that doing tons of cardio is the key to losing weight and transforming your body. This is the furthest thing from the truth. I have seen the same individuals year after year spending considerable time on cardio machines to either gain more weight or look exactly the same. Could it be that their body has adapted to the particular piece of cardio equipment? The truth is doing long cardio sessions does burn X amount of calories and that’s about it.
Could you achieve better results with a short HITT session vs. long and slow cardio? Absolutely!!! That is why my cardio based training is always HITT. It is short, tough, and most of all, super effective. HITT is my favor type of cardio training because I can be done in 20 minutes and be completely exhausted. HITT also keeps your metabolism raised throughout the day which continues to burn calories. So let’s start with some basic information about HITT.
What is HITT Training?
HITT is know as High Intensity Interval Training. The name can scare you but you can progress at a pace that suits your level of fitness.
You can use HIIT with any type of cardio workout, whether it’s running, using a stair climbing machine, rowing, or jumping rope.
You’ll work up a sweat fast, working at a very intense level and then backing off for a slower recovery period, followed by another round of high intensity.
A great way to start off is using a treadmill. Always warm-up your body to avoid injuries. You can run hard to 30 secs, then recover for 30 secs and repeat for 10 minutes. As your level of fitness progresses, you can increase the intervals to 1 minute hard and 1 minute recovery for a 20 minute workout. The great thing about HITT training is you can apply it to all the different cardio machines from stationary bikes, stair climbers, elliptical machines. stair walker to my favor, the assault bike. Try doing 20 mins of HITT training on an assault bike. It is tough but the results are astounding.
Is High-Intensity Interval Training Effective?
From my personal experience HITT training is very effective. It has allowed me to keep my muscle mass while staying lean. Obviously my entire strength training and nutritional plan play a critical role. I recommend doing HITT training as a separate workout (3 times a week) and doing it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I don’t combine HITT training with my strength training routine. Keep them separate. Give your body some recovery time and schedule your strength training in the afternoons or early evenings.
What Do I Need to Do Before HITT Training?
HITT training places big demands on your heart, so check with your doctor first to see if HITT is right for you. As with any training, you should start off slow and do fewer and shorter intervals so your body can adapt to this style of training.
HITT training can be uncomfortable and you will feel out of breathe during the hard intervals. Listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.