HIIT : The 'Magic' You've Been Searching For - PurelyB Healthy Lifestyle
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HIIT : The 'Magic' You've Been Searching For

HIIT : The 'Magic' You've Been Searching For

When it comes to the magical “diet vs. training” ratio for optimal results, you’ll hear all types of numbers being thrown out there like, “Oh, when it comes to getting fit, diet is 50 percent.” Others might say 80 percent, and I’ve even heard 73 percent. (Thanks, guy at GNC with decent biceps and chicken legs. That was very specific.)

Some people fixate on numbers and general methods, searching for a magic formula that they believe will unlock the universal secret to fitness for everyone. But some people are looking in all the wrong places.

The truth is that some people need to train harder in order to see the results they want, while others need to diet more strictly to obtain the results that they are pursuing. The important thing to remember is that we only spend a very limited amount of time each week in the gym, and a huge portion of time outside of it… so be aware of your actions outside the weight room (i.e. in the kitchen), because they add up fast.

If you want the results from your work in the weight room to add up fast, intense interval training can be one of the “magic” keys that you have been searching for.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is not only for cardio, you can also achieve impressive muscle growth and breakthrough muscle building plateaus by incorporating it into your weight lifting program.

There are many different ways to explain a HIIT program, but the best way for me to simplify it is this: You work EXTREMELY hard for a short period of time, rest for a short period of time, repeat for the duration of your workout, which should be between twenty to forty minutes.

That’s all.

What HIIT does to your metabolic rate is quite interesting. Here’s an example:

If you were to do 45 minutes of cardio by running outside or on a treadmill, at a moderate pace at a moderate incline you could expect to burn about 350-450 calories in those 45 minutes. Now, if you were to do 15-20 minutes of HIIT cardio on the same treadmill (and push yourself to your limits), you can burn about the same amount of calories in about one-third the time.

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But there’s more

When you step off the treadmill, elliptical machine, or stationary bike after a long session of cardio, your metabolic rate quickly stabilizes and you return to your body’s normal rate of energy burning, which is very low, unless you have significant muscle mass. The fat-loss benefits from your cardio session are over. What was burned was burned, and it ends there.

With HIIT, even after you complete your short training session, your metabolic rate remains in an elevated state, sometimes for over twenty-four hours. This means that after fifteen minutes of intense exercise exertion, you will continue to burn calories efficiently at rest, for hours to come.

But there’s still MORE

The intensity of exercising while using a HIIT approach to your cardio or weight-lifting routines can make a dramatic change in how your body responds to the workouts because you will be releasing unique hormones called “catecholamines”.

Catecholamines are "fight-or-flight" hormones released by the adrenal glands in response to stress, such as high-intensity exertion. This reaction signals the nervous system and promotes the release of free fatty acids into the bloodstream. This is a good thing!

Also, the intense exercise from a HIIT routine will lead to a chemical hormonal change in your body, stimulating serotonin and dopamine receptors to secrete more “happy hormones,” making intense interval exercise both highly effective for physique transformation, and beneficial for your mood in the short and long term.

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Here is a Sample HIIT Cardio Workout

This is usually how I introduce HIIT cardio to my clients’ programs: After weight training, HIIT cardio is done either on a treadmill, or, when the option is available, outside on a level grass surface.

  • 30-second run at 70 percent maximum effort (approximately 7.0km/hour)
  • 30-second walk at regular pace (approximately 4.5km/hour)
  • 30-second sprint at 70 percent maximum effort (approximately 7.0km/hour)
  • 30-second walk at regular pace (approximately 4.5km/hour)
  • 30-second sprint at 80 percent maximum effort (approximately 8.0km/hour)
  • 30-second walk at regular pace (approximately 4.5km/hour)
  • 30-second sprint at 80 percent maximum effort (approximately 8.0km/hour)
  • 30-second walk at regular pace (approximately 4.5km/hour)
  • 30-second sprint at 90 percent maximum effort (approximately 10.0km/hour)
  • 30-second walk at regular pace (approximately 4.5km/hour)
  • 30-second sprint at 90 percent maximum effort (approximately 10.0km/hour)
  • 30-second walk at regular pace (approximately 4.5km/hour)

At this point, you have been performing HIIT for 6 minutes, and now it’s time to push it!!

For the next 6-8 minutes, during your “on” intervals, you should sprint as fast as you can (100% maximum effort), with complete control, while maintaining your “off” period at about 4.5km/hour. (Keep to the 30-second rule)

The total length of your HIIT cardio session should be a minimum of 12 minutes, and a maximum of 25 minutes, and then you must complete your HIIT cardio session with a 4-5 minute cool down period, which is walking at a pace of about 4km/hr.
If you perform this HIIT cardio protocol 2-3 days per week, you will put yourself in a strong position to enhance your metabolism and burn incredible amounts of fat, when complimented with a clean diet.

With all of this new information on the benefits of high-intensity training, I truly hope that you are inspired to step outside of your comfort zone to push yourself harder than you previously thought you were capable of. Even if it’s only a four-week program that features a couple of HIIT workouts each week, that’s enough to make a positive transformation in your physique and your mood, and I know that it will give you new motivation to keep raising the bar for your future workout performance.

I’ve included the link to my T3 (Train to Transform) workouts here, which features HIIT-based resistance training routines. Feel free to check it out for ideas on home workout routines.

For more T3 workouts visit here

Good luck and have fun!

Tagged in:

fitness, hiit, intensity, running, strength, weight loss

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Dave Catudal

Written by: Dave Catudal

Dave is a celebrity fitness trainer, certified nutrition consultant, and international health educator who has dedicated the last 14 years of his life to wellness and optimising human performance. From professional athletes, top models and Hollywood celebrities, to busy parents and professionals, Dave has personally helped thousands of people to realise their holistic wellness and aesthetic physical goals.

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