HIIT - workout you can do anywhere

HIIT - workout you can do anywhere

Rising the amount of burned calories through the daytime is tedious and long-lasting. As far as if you want to have a calorie deficit you should add more activity to your regime. However, enduring walks or jogging aren't always the best idea.

That's why we introduce HIIT to you. High-Intensity Interval Training is a type of workout that uses high and low load intensity interlacing: for example, alternating sprint and jogging. The advantage of this session is that it is quite short and you can do it even at home.

The task that is achieved by the interval training mechanisms is the short-term achievement of the aerobic threshold (that is, the intensity at which the body switches to the anaerobic mode and uses carbohydrates rather than fats as an energy source) and returns to the usual training level. 

Usually, the aerobic threshold is 85% of the maximum pulse. The study showed that the HIIT training regimen improves neuromuscular status, anaerobic power, and heart rate recovery in well-trained athletes, while low-intensity and medium-intensity training did not have similar effects.

Interval training includes a whole range of different workouts: running, swimming, cycling, and working with cardiovascular machines - a treadmill, exercise bike, stepper, etc. 

Science evidence

From the point of view of the nature of the load, interval training is a variation of aerobic (low-intensity intervals) and anaerobic (high-intensity intervals) load. The change in the intensity of the load can be achieved by changing the speed, distance, and heart rate.

Interval training, in contrast to low-intensity aerobic exercise, causes a metabolic response that acts not only during the training but also after it, which contributes to effective fat burning, strengthen muscles, increase their strength and endurance. When engaged in high-interval training, the body composition did not change for the worse, even with high-calorie fast food that is rich in simple carbohydrates.

It is widely believed that low-intensity cardiovascular training is the best method for fat burning. However, experiments show that aerobic training is several times less effective than interval training, despite the fact that aerobics is accompanied by the use of fat as an energy source. This is due to the following reason: when the workout is completed, the need for additional energy from the fat disappears, and the burning of fat stops. Interval training, practically without using fats as an energy source, for several hours, up to two days, speeds up metabolic processes, which requires additional energy throughout the whole period of increasing the exchange rate.

In addition, aerobic exercise has another negative side. Fat splitting, which occurs during long workouts - a long and energy-intensive process, so the body begins to feel the need for additional sources of energy and burns muscle tissue. 

Interval training, on the contrary, strengthens muscles, supports them in tone and increases their strength. Like any cardio exercise, interval training strengthens the cardiovascular system. Regular interval training leads to the fact that the heart adapts much faster to intense loads and quickly restores the usual rhythm. Besides, in a 2017 study, it has been demonstrated that high-intensity interval training can slow down aging by increasing the number of mitochondria in skeletal muscle.

Basic principles of interval training

The basis of interval training are cycles, which include high-intensity and low-intensity intervals. Training usually consists of 5-15 cycles. In addition, at the beginning and the end of the workout, it is necessary to warm up / hitch, which will prepare the body for high loads.

The duration of one cycle is from 6 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the goals of training and the level of fitness. The total duration of the interval part of the training is from 2 to 30 minutes. The high-intensity interval should not exceed the low-intensity. For beginners, the optimal duration of the high-intensity interval is 10–15 seconds, and the low-intensity one is 3-5 times longer than the duration of the high-intensity one. 

As the preparedness improves, the duration of the intervals increases, the difference between the low-intensity and high-intensity intervals decreases. Interval training is not recommended more often than three times a week - too frequent workouts can lead to overtraining. The remaining days can be days of rest, days of strength training, or days of low-intensity cardio training.

When combining workouts, you should monitor the condition of the body and avoid overtraining. Symptoms of overtraining are: increased heart rate at rest in days free from exercise, constant muscle pain, fatigue, not passing after rest. If these symptoms are present, exercise should be postponed.

An important indicator of the intensity of training is the heart rate during exercise. The base point for measuring heart rate is the maximum heart rate, which is calculated by the formula: Maximum heart rate = 220 - age in years.

During the high-intensity interval, the pulse should be 60-85% of the maximum, during the low-intensity interval - 40-60%. Nutrition is also an essential factor. Intensive workouts actively consume glycogen, so for the success of the training process, it is important to monitor the presence of a sufficient amount of carbohydrates in the diet. A low-carbohydrate diet that is popular among goal-setting fat burning people makes it impossible for the body to recover normally before the next workout.

Before embarking on interval training, it is recommended to consult a doctor and examine the body's cardiovascular system. People with heart disease should be approached for high-intensity loads, which include interval training, with extreme caution.

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