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Increase Your Fat Burning with High-intensity Interval Training

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High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercise has become an increasingly popular physical activity in the fitness world. Whether you create your own HIIT workout or attend a group class, you can kick up your fat-burning potential in less time through these workouts.

Read how HIIT can increase your heart rate while you burn calories and build lean muscle.

What is High-Intensity Interval Training?
The name “High-Intensity Interval Training” can be deceiving and sound intimidating. But regardless of your fitness level, you can still incorporate it into your exercise routine.

After you are sufficiently warmed up, HIIT workouts can be self-paced. With this type if training, you are enabled to work at your personal and emotional best. Most exercises can be modified to match your fitness level and goals.

Out of all of the fitness modalities, HIIT is one of the highest in terms of total caloric expenditure and post-exercise productivity. If you compare HIIT versus a steady, long-duration cardiovascular activity such as running, HIIT burns more calories both during your workout and afterward, as the higher intensity workout revs up your metabolism.

What makes intervals successful is they are specified in duration and expectation. Proper recovery will allow you to maintain a high level of intensity. The key is to not overexert yourself, while also keeping your heart rate and movement up.

What can you expect?
A HIIT exercise program often entails a lot of resistance and compound exercises. Compound exercises are holistic in nature and utilize more muscle and joint systems in large motion rather than a small, individual motion. An example of a HIIT exercise could be a deadlift that transitions into a hang clean then into a shoulder press. This comprises a compound exercise, as multiple joints and muscles are moving at one time.

In compound exercises there is a competition for blood flow throughout the working muscles. If you were doing a single bicep curl, your blood would actually flow to that muscle. But compound exercises like a reverse lunge with a bicep curl, you have competition for which muscles get blood flow, oxygen delivery and lactate removal.  

HIIT is based on anaerobic intervals, but there should be a proper recovery from one exercise to the next. This training allows for variability and the duration of each interval. If the duration of interval changes, your expectation of what can be achieved in that time period should also change. For example, if you do a 30-second interval of burpees, your expectation for that interval is that you should be able to go faster and deeper than if you were doing it for two minutes. With HIIT, you must learn to pace yourself differently. It is also important to give yourself an appropriate interval of recovery to follow; otherwise, it will be difficult to maintain your endurance and strength throughout your workout.

How often should you incorporate HIIT?
If you already have a resistance training program implemented, you may choose to include this exercise program into your workouts once a week depending on your current training schedule. Due to the high intensity nature of the workout, it requires planning and thought as to how you will recover. It is not recommended to perform this type of training on a daily basis.

If you are not currently using resistance training with a moderate-level intensity or any anaerobic interval training, you could add HIIT two to three days a week, while also allowing yourself enough time to recover. If you fail to give yourself the proper amount of time to recover, you can end up in an over-trained state.

Setting HIIT goals
To begin HIIT training, a simple workout could be running stairs at your local stadium. This can be done at a steady state or you can use a timer to see how much you can achieve in a minute. After the minute, you would allow yourself to recover for 30 seconds then repeat the interval.

An additional workout you can try is running 30 seconds of sprints followed by three minutes of jogging and one minute of walking for recovery. You can do this workout on a treadmill or outside. As with all HIIT, you need to determine how long you will perform each workout.

For more information about Cooper Fitness Center Dallas and our HIIT group exercises classes, click here or call 972.233.4832.

Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.