Health & nutrition insights.

High Intensity Interval Training: Explained

High Intensity Training, is it for you?

This type of exercise is the buzz right now, but does it work and more importantly can YOU and should YOU participate? One of the most daunting tasks of an exercise schedule is fitting it in. In fact, people who exercise don’t have any more hours in the day than people who don’t. It is all about priorities and taking the time to spend on yourself. You have to make your health a priority or it won’t happen, and guess what….if you don’t take care of you, then I doubt anyone else is going to! And, you will not be as effective at taking care of the other people and tasks in your life if you are not taking care of yourself. Ok, so hopefully, you realize that you are worth the time and effort to exercise. It is an art to fit everything into your day and get enough sleep, but it can be done!

That is where this type of training is very attractive! Better results in half the time…sign me up! But, what people are concerned about is the “high intensity” part. Yes, you do work out less time but you work out harder and maybe even harder than you have ever worked out before. That is where people tend to give up before they get started. Many people are worried that they can’t do the workouts or they will hurt themselves. Some people just can’t let go of the traditional cardiovascular training of 60% of your heart rate for 45 minutes a day.

Whatever your hang up is, I encourage you to give high intensity interval training a try, and here is why:

  1. Research shows that you can get the same cardiovascular, fat burning, and body fat loss results with this type of training as traditional cardiovascular training. In fact, in many studies, it had even better results than traditional training.
  2. Some research has been done on beginners who were overweight or obese with this type of training, and they had great results as well with less time commitment.
  3. It is fun!
  4. You can train for endurance races, decrease your body fat, and build muscle with half the time.

So, here are my recommendations if you want to give high intensity interval training a try:

  1. Work with a trainer who knows what they are doing-you will decrease your injury risk and they can push you to the level you need to be pushed for this to be effective.
  2. Make sure you are not doing only one type of training-you need to incorporate different types of resistance training, core training, balance training, and cardio training. A good trainer can incorporate all of this into your workout and help you with what to do on off days.
  3. Make sure you don’t do high intensity training every day-3 days a week is good.
  4. On off days from high intensity training, do yoga or stretching workouts that are lower intensity but work on balance, flexibility and core strength.
  5. If you have injuries, be sure to modify and stop anything that hurts the wrong way. Correct form is extremely important and can slip if you are fatigued, so have that trainer to keep a watchful eye on your form-you only have one back so you need to keep it healthy!

You never know what you can accomplish unless you try, so get out there and see what you can do!