Just about everyone makes a fitness or weight loss resolution on January 1. For some, it’s an annual ritual that doesn’t get past January 2 while others actually take a stab at finally doing “something” to lose weight and/or get into shape. Even though it’s pretty much become a cliché, resolving to work out in the new year is a respectable decision. You’re probably already aware of the benefits of getting fit but, because they’re not all centered around preparing for swimsuit season, they bear repeating. According to Health Guidance, some of the top reasons for getting in shape include lower healthcare costs from improved immunity and reduced chances of disease such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. You’ll have improved memory and concentration, will sleep better, breathe easier and will be in a better mood in general, too, if you work out regularly.
If you’re already convinced and are wondering what workout routine is best to lose weight quickly, you need to know about HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT alternates short bursts of all-out effort with longer periods of reduced exertion considered “rest,” even though you’re constantly moving throughout the workout. IDEA Health and Fitness reveals that, way back in 1912, Hannes Kolehmainen, an Olympic long-distance runner from Finland, was incorporating interval training into his workouts. That means the HIIT exercise workout craze isn’t exactly a new one. It is, however, a workout trend fitness enthusiasts have been tweaking for decades to customize it to their goals and preferences.
HIIT, in general, is good news for those who want to lose weight quickly, but HIIT workout plans that incorporate resistance training are terrific news for those who think they don’t have enough time to work out. Performing a resistance workout routine as a high intensity interval workout gets your heart rate up to satisfy your need for cardio exercise and, since the exercises are weight bearing, you’ll reap the benefits resistance training provides while you’re at it. If you haven’t been exercising consistently, it’s a good idea to see your doctor first. It’s a wise move whenever you want to embark on new, intense training, but it’s especially important for people who’ve been inactive.
Benefits of HIIT Training
High Intensity Interval Training may have been around for over a century, but it’s just been in the last few years that serious research has been conducted to determine its benefits and the level of them. Studies from 2000 on forward have proven that HIIT is superior to traditional fitness training for improving metabolic and physiological functions including fat burning effectiveness and oxidation of fatty acids. Even after you’ve completed a HIIT workout, the elevated caloric expenditure and oxygen consumption continues. Those benefits of HIIT training are what help you lose weight quickly, but there are even more advantages of HIIT. Dr. Mercola favors HIIT because it boosts the body’s production of human growth hormone, which is better than taking a load of muscle building supplements. HIIT has also shown to improve blood sugar regulation for up to 24 hours, and it reprograms your body at the genetic level to produce lipolytic enzymes, otherwise known as natural fat-busters.
HIIT and Your Training Schedule
High intensity training is ideal for people who are short on time. You can get all the resistance and cardio you need in two or three days of 30 to 45 minute HIIT training workouts. Remember that “high intensity” is built right into the name of the workout. You’ll be pushing your body during each session, so take at least one day of rest in between HIIT workouts. An effective schedule might be focusing on two or three muscle groups and breaking them down to Monday, Wednesday and Friday workouts while taking the other four days of the week off. Alternatively, you could do two full-body workouts, incorporating different exercises for each workout, and do them any two days of the week that is convenient for you. Just make sure it isn’t two days in a row.
Effective HIIT Workout Routine
HIIT is so effective when performed on cardio equipment — or even when running and biking outdoors — that many people associate it exclusively with cardio fitness workouts. Adding to that misconception is the difficulty most people assume they’ll have working between exercises and changing out equipment if they try to adapt their free weight workout to high intensity interval training. Resistance bands are the ideal solution to modifying resistance training workouts to HIIT. Equipment such as the TargitFit Trainer makes it easy to move between exercises with little or no adjustments, and the linear variable resistance the bands provide will ensure an effective workout for building muscles and strength. It’s not just an assumption, either. This HIIT workout was developed using TargitFit to get a full body workout — cardio and all — in just about 30 minutes:
- step ups — 2 minutes, moderate effort (this is your warm up)
- chest press — 60 seconds, full effort, 90 seconds, moderate effort
- seated row — 60 seconds, full effort, 90 seconds, moderate effort
- overhead triceps extension — 60 seconds, full effort, 90 seconds, moderate effort
- flys — 60 seconds, full effort, 90 seconds, moderate effort
- crunches — 60 seconds, full effort, 90 seconds, moderate effort
- biceps curls — 60 seconds, full effort, 90 seconds, moderate effort
- seated military press — 60 seconds, full effort, 90 seconds, moderate effort
- squats — 60 seconds, full effort, 90 seconds, moderate effort
- 3 minute cool-down, perform step ups again or do the stationary bike, jog in place or on the treadmill or jump rope