High Intensity Interval Training - Shake Up Your Workout!

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High Intensity Interval Training - Shake Up Your Workout!

Interval Training – Shake Up Your Workout! 

By Jean Bowick

If you’re looking for a zesty new way to shake up your workout routine, the formula is HIIT – it’s fresh and it’s HOT!

HIIT, otherwise known as High Intensity Interval Training, is trending BIG in the workout world today. As described by the American Heart Association, interval training involves switching your workout from high intensity to low intensity within set, short intervals of time. A quick, short exercise burst at your highest exertion level – like fast sprints, heavy weight lifting, or jumping rope – kicks your body into anaerobic mode.

Unlike aerobic (or cardio) exercise, which relies on the oxygen to supply to your muscles during longer, sustained physical activity, anaerobic exercise expends fuel that’s already present in your muscles, making these short, high-intensity bursts of energy an ideal way to build muscle mass, including heart strength and vigor. These brief, high-energy bursts are followed by short periods of rest; then the process is repeated anywhere from 6-10 times in a session.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the HIIT segments “may range from five seconds to eight minutes long, and are performed at 80% to 95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate, the maximum number of times your heart will beat in a minute without overexerting yourself.” You’ll follow each high-intensity segment with a recovery period of slower, low-impact motion, which will bring your heart rate down to 40%-50% of your ideal maximum heart rate. Then you’ll continue your workout for approximately 20-60 minutes with alternating high-energy bursts and equal cooling-down periods.

Some of the specific benefits of HIIT workouts include:

  •         Better cardiovascular health
  •         Reduced blood pressure
  •         Insulin efficiency
  •         Cholesterol regulation
  •         Reduced abdominal fat
  •         Muscle mass development and retention
  •         Overall aerobic and anaerobic fitness

Another advantage of HIIT programs is that they can easily be adapted for people who want to get in better shape and live a healthier lifestyle, regardless of their current weight, fitness level, or special health conditions. HIIT exercises can be applied to cycling, walking, cross-training, swimming, and a variety of group exercise classes. And best of all, HIIT programs often burn more calories than traditional workouts despite their brevity, so the overall benefits are well worth the extra effort.

To learn more about High Intensity Interval Training, contact a personal trainer at your local Y branch to develop a personal HIIT fitness routine, or check out our list of awesome Group X classes here: www.ymcabham.org/class-finder.#YStrongBham #HIITHard

Posted by Loyd McIntosh at 2:08 PM
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