Many people who are trying to lose weight have learned to dread the treadmill. They spend countless hours grinding away with steady-state cardio workouts. Although this is one way to achieve your weight loss goals, it is actually not the most efficient. Research has shown that a strategy known as high-intensity interval training is actually much more beneficial.
What is High-Intensity Interval Training?
Often known as HIIT, high-intensity interval training differs from the usual cardio programs in that instead of keeping a steady pace for a long amount of time, you alternate between a fast pace and a slow pace for a generally shorter amount of time. An example of a HIIT workout would involve running at your maximum capacity for 30 seconds, then slowing down to a brisk walk or jog for one minute. You would then repeat this cycle for the desired amount of times.
Why is HIIT Better?
In a steady-state cardio workout, you only burn calories for the duration of your workout. Any calorie-burn that takes place after the workout is minimal. Additionally, long sessions of cardio may contribute to catabolism. This means that your body will derive some energy from burning muscle mass, leading to a less toned appearance and fewer calories burned while resting.
HIIT has the advantage of not only burning calories during your workout but also sustaining calorie burning for hours. In some cases, the calories may even burn for days. It also minimizes muscle-loss and may be a better option for improving overall cardiovascular performance. One final advantage of HIIT is that it can help prevent cardiovascular disease with much less of a time investment.
Is Tabata Training a Form of High-Intensity Interval Training?
One of the most popular types of HIIT is known as Tabata training and this is the basis for my new Xtrain Tabatacise video. Named for the Japanese professor who developed the method, Tabata training entails workout sessions that are extremely short and extremely intense. After warming up, a person performing Tabata training will perform a very intense exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. This cycle will repeat 8 times, then followed by a brief cool-down session. While extremely effective, this type of training is usually too intense for those coming out of a sedentary lifestyle. My new Tabatacise video features five different Tabatas. These are pretty much true Tabata’s and though they last only four minutes each they will still be some of the toughest workouts you have probably ever done, so make sure to listen to your body and stop if you feel light headed.
If you’re embarking on a new weight loss journey, you don’t have to only spend your workout time and patience with long steady-state cardio sessions. Many feel that current research is decidedly in favor of high-intensity interval training as far as weight loss goes. Although the sessions are more intense, you will wind up with much greater benefits in much less time.
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