This might sound a little in depth, but PLEASE try getting your head around this. This type of training applies to nearly EVERY different goal out there. .
Firstly, what is the metabolism?
The metabolism is a set of chemical reactions that occur within muscle tissue, essentially breaking down energy (calories) and using it for different purposes within the body. You may have heard people speak about their ‘metabolic rate’, essentially they are referring to the rate, or speed at which this process happens.
“How do I raise my metabolism? Because I really want to burn off the calories I eat quicker?!” – It is commonly thought that the only way to raise the metabolic rate of the body is through aerobic exercise. Wrong! Have a quick look up and revisit where the metabolism process actually happens. MuscletTissue right? The only way the permanently raise your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is to build lean muscle tissue.
So ladies if ever you had any doubts about doing resistance work because you don’t want muscles, re-consider! Now.
So now that you are doing resistance work to permanently raise your RMR, you now want to rise this even further yes? When training to get rid of body fat, your aim should be to raise your metabolic rate as high as you possibly can for as long as you possibly can, before it returns to its RMR (which should now be higher because you are increasing your lean muscle tissue right?).
The best way to do this? High intensity interval training (HIIT).
It has long been thought that to lose fat, you need to train in the ‘fat burning zone’, around 50 – 60% of your maximum heart rate (HR). Pretty much in first or second gear. You might have seen this zone on the cardio equipment at your local gym. Your local gym is full of s*#t.
Studies have found HIIT can be up to 9 times more effective at fat loss than steady state (fat burning zone) training.
A nice long steady jog (that dude who has been coming into your gym for the last 6 months, jumps on the tready for 40 minutes and goes off to work content but looks no different to 6 months ago) will do enough to raise your RMR for around 30 mins to an hour, so when you get home you are still burning increased calories while sitting down watching Doctor Phil.
A 2001 study found that HIIT increases the RMR for the following 24 hours. So you could watch Dr Phil, Oprah, Sports Tonight, Larry King, Sunrise, Kerry Anne, and Dr Phil again and still be burning more calories than usual.
It has recently also been shown that two weeks of HIIT can substantially improve insulin action in young healthy men. HIIT may therefore represent a viable method for prevention of type-2 diabetes.
- Need any other reasons to scrap the long jog??
- The short and sharp nature of the session significantly lessens pressure and strains on joints e.g. knees, ankles, hips!
- Anaerobic intervals reduce the body’s insulin resistance (which inhibits fat loss) by 30% more than aerobic.
- Aerobic/ endurance training leads to muscles becoming efficient at energy utilisation e.g. the body adapts to long sessions and needs less energy to train, therefore doesn’t burn as many calories as it usually would.
- It is seriously time efficient! Why would you waste a good hour or 2 jogging in 1st gear, when you could spend 20 minutes with a HIIT and feel truly alive after!
By alive I mean screaming for dear life.
So what exactly does a HIIT session look like?
The interval method involves working at pretty much your maximum intensity, followed by periods of rest, aiming to replenish your ATP/PC (anaerobic energy) stores enabling you to ‘go again’, working near that maximum rate.
A classic example would be, on an exercise bike – HARD for 1 minute, REST (slow pedal) for 1 minute for a total of 20 minutes. For most people, a workout of around 20 – 30 minutes is enough to gain the desired result.
Basically, your progress is not dependant on how many calories you burn in that 1 hour you spend at the gym, it’s the calories burnt in the 23 other hours that matter! So train SMART.