The Main Event – The Benefits of HIIT
Cardiovascular training is extremely important when it comes to overall fitness and achieving weight loss. Some people enjoy cardio workouts, running, riding a bike, rowing machines, elliptical machines, each has their benefits and their fans. However many more people do not enjoy cardio and see it as a chore either done with a grimace, or potentially skipped all together. For those who feel this way there is a solution. It is a way to get the benefits of a great cardio workout without having to spend a long time doing it. It is called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and it is a great way to work out smarter, not longer.
In short HIIT is short periods of high intensity work followed by longer periods of ‘rest.’ These periods of intense work can vary from person to person. It can be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. The main key is to make sure that the resting period is roughly double that of the work period. These workouts can give a person tremendous benefits in a shorter time, as little as twenty minutes.
The benefits of HIIT are incredible. In as little as twenty minutes one can improve their blood pressure, cardio health, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, insulin sensitivity, and burn abdominal fat without losing muscle mass. A HIIT workout can be tailored to those of any fitness level as well. Ideally the intense portion of the workout should be performed at anywhere between 80-90% of one’s maximum heart rate (220-age), with the resting portion being performed at 50% or lower of one’s MHR.
Once you have chosen your preferred method of HIIT it is best to perform this workout no more than once or twice per week to allow appropriate time for your body to recover. It also will help if you have an app like Tabata Pro where you can properly time your intervals. This app will alert you when it is time to ‘work’ and ‘rest’ and choosing how many rounds you do will make sure that you know how much longer until you can stop and go shower.
Remember on your HIIT days, as with any workout actually, to refuel afterwards. The intense nature of the workout will tax your body and thus it is imperative to fully stretch and then recover with ample fluids and a sensible snack preferably with protein.
Whether it’s a treadmill, spin bike, rowing machine, or even weight training, anybody can perform High Intensity Interval Training and reap the tremendous benefits that come from it!
Workout Song of the Week – Down With the Sickness – Disturbed
What’s In My Gym Bag? – Xtend – After any workout, especially a long cardiovascular session, it is important to recover properly. Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) are a very popular supplement to help one recover as research has shown that they help in muscle recover and lessening soreness after particularly intense workouts. ¹BCAA’s also help with immune support and also helps stave off lean muscle loss when your body is under stress from training.
For me Xtend, produced by Scivation, a company based out of North Carolina, has proven itself to be the best when it comes to BCAA’s and recovery from long intense running workouts. It comes in the research-proven 2:1:1 formula (leucine to isoleucine and valine) of BCAA’s, The powder can be taken after, or even before, a workout and I have found that it does exactly what it claims. I can run longer and more often which adds to my overall fitness. I would not recommend it if I did not believe in it myself.
Xtend can be found in any health and fitness store such as Vitamin Shoppe, or online at their website listed below. It comes in 12 flavors and there are new product options including Xtend with caffeine. Don’t just take my word for it, try it for yourself. As with any product or supplement I review please check with your own doctor before adding it to your routine.
Where To Buy It - Xtend - Scivation.com
Take A Hike – Province Lands Bike Trail – Though it might still be in the depths of winter on Cape Cod one can still keep an eye looking ahead toward warm summer days. This is when staying fit and active leads many to journey outdoors. Hiking, and walking in general, is a great way to keep active and get into shape. All one needs is a pair of sneakers. The Cape has countless beautiful scenic areas to hike where one can get back to nature and escape for a while. A perfect spot to do this is the Province Lands Bike Trail in Provincetown. With more than eight miles of paved trails including the loop and offshoots this bike path will take you back to how Cape Cod appeared before we got here. The trail travels up and over the stoic dunes near Race Point making this walk or ride challenging due to its changes in elevation. There are several parking areas so that one can choose their own starting point. There really is no wrong place to begin an amazing journey through the dunes.
Did You Know? – The popular modern-day kettlebell was developed in the early 18th century in Russia to weight crops. They became a staple of Dr. Vladislav Krayevsky, modern day gym forefather in 1885¹. Today they are readily available in most gyms.
Motivational Quote – “It always seems impossible until it is done.” – Nelson Mandela
About Me - I am a World Instructor Training School (W.I.T.S.) Certified Personal Trainer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I am an avid runner with forty races under my belt from 5K’s to marathons. My goal is to share my experiences and love of fitness with as many people as possible whether through this blog or through training. I would love to chat via email at ChristopherSetterlund@gmail.com.
If there are any questions, or topics you would like to see covered in future posts please contact me. If you would like to train with me I am currently plying my trade at Mid-Cape Athletic Club. You may call them to inquire about an appointment at 508-394-3511, visit them online at Midcapeathletic.com, or visit their club at 193 Whites Path in South Yarmouth, MA.