Less is Sometimes More

Most of us have probably heard at least one of the following statements when it comes to working out:

  • You need to suffer to see results.
  • If you’re not “killing yourself” it won’t work.
  • Go hard or go home.
  • Do more.
  • Work harder.
  • Work out longer.
  • No days off.

These statements have probably been the reason for why most of us sometimes find it hard to motivate ourselves to get to a workout when all we think and are told about how to get results is to spend hours in a gym and kill ourselves.  Honestly, most of us have been there, done that, and burned out.

The good news is that for the goals of many, you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym for hours on end to achieve results.  That being said, it does depend on what your goals are.  If you’re goals sound something like, “Look better, feel better, and be the healthiest version of myself,” then you can probably use what I’m about to tell you.  If you have more specific goals, especially if they relate directly to a particular sport or activity, then you may need to devote more time to achieving those results.  In either case, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can be a welcome addition to almost every training program.

In the past few years HIIT has been flooding news cycles, magazines, and websites in a big way.  That’s not without good reason.  We have been able to prove, through research, that when HIIT workouts are performed properly we only need 10-20 minutes to workout.

What is HIIT?  HIIT involves intense work periods at 80-95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate, matched with recovery periods that are typically around 40-50% of a person’s estimated max heart rate. Work and rest periods are usually performed in ratios starting at 3:1 and adjusted as a person gets stronger.

The Benefits. HIIT training not only improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness but it also improves blood pressure, cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, cholesterol profiles, and abdominal fat and/or body weight, all while maintaining muscle mass. These workouts also tend to increase caloric expenditure by 6-15%.