Day 26 TIP: Feel Good Health Challenge

What’s going on guys? Only a few days left!

Today I wanted to share a very effective way to exercise: it’s called High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short.

All it is, basically, is going “all-out” for short bursts, followed by a period of rest, and then repeated 8-12 times (or as many as you’d like). This is a very effective way to train, for two main reasons:

  1. It’s quick and easy: No endless treadmill “cardio” sessions that leave you unmotivated and puzzled as to why your body composition stays the same year after year.
  2. It applies the minimum effective dose: Who wants to do hard work for longer, when good results can be obtained from very short workouts? HIIT may be the most efficient way to train.

Now, when I say easy, I don’t mean that quite literally. In a sense, it’s “easy” to get a good workout in less than 10 minutes a day, this is true. But believe me when I say you’re working you ass off for those few minutes!

The original method uses a 2:1 ratio of work to rest periods (e.g. 30–40 seconds of hard sprinting alternated with 15–20 seconds of jogging or walking), but it can be scaled as needed. The goal is to get some serious metabolic conditioning!

Can you imagine giving your absolute 100%, like there were no other “sets” to do? Not toning it down one bit, just giving it your all and getting completely depleted. This kind of maximal effort can’t last that long, and so you would typically sustain it for about 20 seconds. Not too scary, is it? Then take a quick break and back at it again, giving another 100% of whatever’s left in the tank, and so on for a few more times.

There is a well known protocol called Tabata, which consists of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds rest, repeated 8 times – totaling a whole 4 minutes of exercise! This system can get you some serious results in very little time (quite literally), and I guarantee you that, once you try it, you will agree that it legitimately qualifies as a workout.

The real beauty of a Tabata workout is that it can be applied to any exercise, or even a combination of 2 exercises (done alternating or in succession), called a Double Tabata, lasting 8 minutes. Equipment is optional as well (think sprinting, pushups, pullups, squats, burpees, lunges, planks, dips, etc.), which means you can do it anywhere and anytime.

An important thing to mention is that studies have already shown that by doing HIIT just 3 times per week, you stand to gain from aerobic benefits (improves VO2 max and increases resting heart rate for 24hrs, which makes you burn extra calories automagically!) as well as metabolic benefits (significant reduction in total body fat and improved insulin resistance).

In short, HIIT is something to take seriously, especially if you’re the kind of person who has trouble prioritizing the time to work out daily.

Just give it a shot – and keep on rockin’!

Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.
–Sam Ewing

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