As a regular gym goer who has travelled quite extensively, I am very used to seeing rows of people young and old grinding away for hours on end on the treadmills. Much of this is of the low intensity aerobic variety with the exerciser never nearing full maximum physical activity.
The owner of my local gym, Colin, (who knows a bit about fitness!) wants to change this.
He is very keen that people get the maximum they can out of their membership of his club so is promoting interval training.
As far as he is concerned cardio training on its own is a waste of time. It may make you a bit fitter but it will not help you achieve your body weight and shape goals. Especially where large scale fat loss is the aim. This he says is backed up by many studies and experiments.
What Colin advocates is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The aim being to improve performance with shorter sessions containing short periods of activity at near maximum levels.
The claim is that HIIT can help burn nine times as much fat off as low intensity aerobic exercise can.
HIIT can also promote fat loss for up to 48 hours after the session due to a process called Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).
Colin has listed some of the benefits in his latest newsletter as:
- Losing two pounds per week – a conservative estimate according to him
- Getting that toned athletic look – not just losing weight
- Tons and tons of energy – to lead a fuller life
- Super fitness – well, more than the treadmill plodder
- It chases away disease – by lowering blood pressure
I have now built this into my own regime and over the last four weeks I have, after reaching a bit of a plateau, started steadily losing weight again.
The downside? The treadmill plodding is within most peoples’ comfort zone, it is relatively easy if a bit boring. HIIT takes you into a new zone and tests your commitment a bit more. You won’t be able to read a magazine sweat free when doing HIIT like you can just slowly pedalling on an exercise bike!
Next time you’re in the gym get the instructor to put together a HIIT programme for you. Then give it a good go, you’ll be glad you did in the long run.