There is always a lot of talk about the best method for losing body fat; the best method of doing cardio. There continues to be old school thinking of steady state cardio or working in the fat burning zone – whatever that is. Even though there is ample research out there, and has been for years now, that steady state cardio is not the best method of fat loss; there continues to be those advocating long boring cardio sessions.
Those that train with us at our studio know we are definitely not about long boring cardio. Here we work hard and we work fast Short and sweet, right?
The topic of today's newsletter came about from a question from a client and this was certainly not the first time I have been asked this. The question was “What is HIIT and is it good for me?”
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.
It is not new; high intense interval work has been around for a while. It just didn't have a fancy acronym to describe it.
High Intense Interval Training or sprint interval training is an exercise strategy that is intended to improve performance with short training sessions. HIIT is a form of cardio which is beneficial to burning fat in a short and intense workout. Source: Wikipedia
A typical HIIT session will include a period of warm up exercises, followed by 6-10 repetitions of high intensity exercise, separated by a break. A typical HIIT program may consist of Tabata protocols.
Just what is “Tabata”
The Tabata Protocol is a high-intensity, short interval workout that was intended as an interval routine for the Japanese Speed Skating team. Named after the head coach, Izumi Tabata, Ph.D., who was the former researcher at Japan's National Institute of Fitness and Sports, this workout has been found to be extremely effective.
A Tabata routine involves 6-8 hard intervals that last 20 seconds each. Alternate with 10 second rest periods. Add in five minutes each of warm up and cool down, and you're done. Short and sweet!
Tabata protocols and HIIT can use any form of exercise from dumbbells to kettlebells, from ropes to treadmill work, as well as body weight exercises. The exercises can be combined in endless variations and stay within the parameters of the protocols.
These are demanding workouts and should only be done after a thorough conditioning base has been established Variations of these protocols can be done or modified for beginning exercisers but the high intensity work of a full on Tabata or HIIT program should be undertaken only after a thorough background in all the exercises required has been established.
Till next time,