The 1970’s were the age of aerobics, jogging and Jazzercise® were all the rage. Two styles of cardiovascular exercise that would help you lose pounds and inches and improve the strength of your heart and lungs. We now refer to these cardio workouts as LISS Cardio an acronym for Low Intensity Steady State, once known as LSD or Long Slow Distance training.

Included in this cardio style are walking, jogging, cycling and swimming, all of which are effective fat burning exercises, especially for the beginner. If you are new to exercise, you put on comfortable shoes and start walking and gradually you jog and eventually start running. You are moving large muscle groups and that burns fat and calories. Walking burns about 300 calories per hour, running about 500 calories per hour, cycling and swimming about 600 calories per hour.

Unfortunately, over time, you become more fit and lean, that’s sounds great, but as you become fit and lean, you must run longer and further to continue to burn the same number of calories. Cardio training alone, and especially LISS Cardio is self limiting. How do you overcome this limitation? Intensity.

If you are a runner, running laps on the track, you must pace yourself to reach your distance goal. You will run at 50, 60 or 70% of your potential. But what if you jog or run a few warm up laps and then run two laps as fast as possible, giving 100% followed by two jogging recovery laps and then two more at full speed. You’ve changed two things, intensity, and added the concept of intervals, by alternating that intensity.

Sprinting is the simplest form of High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. It is virtually impossible to sprint for your entire workout, you must walk or jog to warm up and to recover after your sprint, low intensity, high intensity and low intensity. This shift in intensity also shifts your metabolism into high gear, you will burn more calories during exercise, and you will continue to burn calories (and fat) after exercise.
Virtually any exercise can be adapted to a HIIT format, here are several examples:

  • Jump rope – Boxing training and rope jumping are conducted in 1, 2, or 3 minute rounds (intervals) and are ideal HIIT training routines. Alternating speed rope rounds and bag training can burn up to 900 calories per hour.
  • Kettlebell training – You can build an entire, full body workout with a single kettlebell. Alternate kettlebell exercises with bodyweight exercises and move quickly from one set to the next.
  • Bootcamps – Military style or fitness bootcamps combine short cardio exercises alternating with body weight or resistance style movements. NOTE: the most effective and efficient movements involve compound movements, those that move multiple joints with multiple muscle groups.
  • Circuit training – Circuit training involves weights, body weight or resistance machines and constant movement from one “station” to the next. You can accomplish 40-60 minutes of training in as little as 20 minutes as you quickly move from one exercise to the next. If you feel that your heart rate is falling, add a set of jumping jacks or burpees and then move immediately to the next station.

Your short, intense HIIT training sessions will burn calories and body fat, the intensity promotes the production of anabolic hormones and increases lean muscle mass.High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) is a training method that consists of the methodical alternation of phases of work with recovery phases.

Currently the variant of interval training most used in the field of fitness and sport is the Intermittent.

What is it ???

Intermittent training generally consists of short work and recovery phases (determined on the basis of the client’s level and the goal of the training session) which provide for a work and recovery ratio of 1: 1 or 2: 1 (ie equal amount or with active work double compared to the recovery phase). In sport or with advanced athletes it is basically used a ratio 1: 1, 1: 2 or 1: 3 (higher intensity and therefore greater recovery).

What do you get from this training method?

Surely the cardinal point of this fitness method is the management of the Heart rate, calibrated by the Trainer (with constant monitoring) according to the user and its real possibilities. In this way, the client can work at levels of intensity that can not be reached with continuous training methods, but without crossing over into the lactic acid training. This will result in an increase in the EPOC (post-exercise oxygen consumption) and the related increase in post-exercise metabolism. Translated into common language … you will continue to burn calories even after finishing your workout (from a few minutes to many hours, depends precisely on the intensity!).

Depending on the protocol, the means and exercises chosen in the design of the circuit, it will be possible to focus on the different objectives previously agreed with the trainer (weight loss, functional strength, toning, ect …)

written by Riccardo Alessandro Migliorini

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