Thursday, June 23, 2011

Want To Burn More Fat But Do Less Cardio? You Can!

With high intensity interval training (otherwise known as HIIT), you can burn more fat in half the time of regular cardio! So get ready to kiss your long, boring 45- to 60-minute cardio sessions on the elliptical machine goodbye and say hello to 15- to 20-minute HIIT sessions! 

Now, this might not be for everyone and there are some people out there who do enjoy their longer cardio sessions, but if you're like me, you want to get your cardio over and done with. Let's face it, I hate cardio! I know it's good for me, my body, and my goals so I do it, but I'd rather spend less time doing it. Thank God for HIIT! 

Instead of doing Insanity this morning, I opted to switch it up and do my own HIIT session after my lift at the gym tonight. I hopped on the arc trainer, which is pictured to the left, and set the time for 20 minutes. Since I was already warmed up from my lift, I only allowed myself 1 minute to "warm up". I jacked the resistance up to the highest point, which is 100, and did the same for the incline, which is 10. Once the clock hit 19:00 I "sprinted" as hard as I could for the next 15 seconds. I returned back to a low intensity "jog" for 60 seconds. The next set, I brought the resistance down 5 to 95. I repeated this for a total of 11 times, which brought me to 5 minutes. The lowest I brought my resistance down was 50 and on the last set I jacked it back up to 100 and instead of 15 seconds, sprinted for 30 seconds. In 14 minutes I burned 200 calories! With 5 minutes left I brought the resistance down to 30 and the incline down to 7 and "jogged" at low intensity. I only burned 55 calories in those 5 minutes. 

If how I just explained it is hard for you to wrap your head around, this might be easier: 

15 seconds of high intensity
60 seconds of low intensity
Repeat another 10 times, followed by a final 15-second low-intensity blast (this is where I just did the very last one for a total of 30 seconds)

In just 20 minutes, I burned a total of 255 calories! The amount of calories you burn depends on the machine you are on, which levels you have it set at, and your weight. So it will vary for everyone. For me, that was pretty good. Had I stayed where I was in the last 5 minutes of my training session, I probably would have burned half the calories and fat that I did. Amazing, right? 

I challenge you to a HIIT cardio session! If you've never done it before, try what I did tonight. I definitely left the gym sweating like crazy, and I felt GREAT! 

A study at Laval University in Quebec, Canada found that HIIT cardio helped trainees lose NINE times more fat than those who trained the traditional way (moderate speed for 20-60 minutes)! If you combine HIIT with your weight training program you will boost your metabolism that much more! 

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