High Intensity Matters
High intensity interval training consists of a short burst of high intensity exercise, followed by a low intensity exercise. This creates an environment within the body that leads to sustained fat loss, best of all, long after the exercising is over & can last up to 36 hours!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is proven to promote lasting fat loss, even after exercise is complete. How is this possible, you may ask?
Well, HIIT promotes the use of two metabolic environments. First, the low intensity exercise, such as walking, utilizes the aerobic metabolism. This metabolic environment encourages the body to use oxygen in order to use fat and carbohydrates for energy.
This is highly efficient in the low intensity; however, this is not efficient for high intensity exercises.
The Body is unable to use this oxygen fast enough when performing a high intensity exercise. That is why it is so hard to for example run full out for a long period of time… This leads us to the second metabolic environment, that of anaerobic metabolism.
Anaerobic metabolism is the condition that occurs when the body is working at a high intensity such as running; and is unable to intake enough of that oxygen to burn those carbs and fat as energy.
This condition in turn creates an environment where the body will continue to burn calories and fat well after the initial workout is completed.
This is possible in part because of Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC, for short. The intensity of the exercise makes the body overwork to get back to a “resting” state.
In order for the body to get back to that resting state we just discussed, the body must work to repair the damage from that high intensity blast. This “work” in turn utilizes fat stores and turns them into energy.
The beauty of this is the harder the exercise; the more benefit of fat burning and the longer the body stays in this repair stage. It could last up to 3 days and burn fat the entire time; with the body resting.
This has huge implications as being the real solution to fast weight loss. Other benefits include:
- Fat loss, even when resting.
- Increased Cardiovascular Output.
- Feeling great and strengthening the mind & body
- Retaining Muscle while burning fat.
- Building endurance
- Low impact & short duration
- Gaining athlete like performance abilities
- Increase anaerobic performance & lung capacity
Where to Start
All types of cardio can be used with interval training. Some low impact exercises that I recommend would be cycling, swimming, the elliptical and go at a pace that gets you sucking the air in; that’s how you know your on the right track. See my post on other great high intensity exercise ideas here
However, you will want to start slow in the beginning and a good ratio to go by is 30 seconds of intense exercise followed by 60 seconds rest, or what I like to refer to as a cool down. This is a good pace to start with and over time you can set goals to get that down to 30 seconds high intensity & 30 seconds cool down.
After you build up a tolerance you can introduce weight training into the mix and maximize the benefits. This is the ultimate way to lose weight, retain muscle, get in great cardiovascular shape & build athlete like endurance. Combined with a healthy eating plan & there’s no limit to the fat you can lose!