In an ideal world, most people would be able to hit the gym and stay there for as long as they need to lose weight. This is the ideal scenario. People would be able to do whatever for however long it takes for them to permanently say goodbye to the spare tire on their mid-section or butt and thighs.
Sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world. Most of us are very busy at school or work. Most of us would rather spend time with family or do things that truly matter. I’m not saying that going to the gym is a complete waste of time. I’m saying that for most people, working out in the gym is quite low on their daily list of priorities. It is often postponed if certain things pop up.
What do you think happens since most people have this attitude about exercise? That’s right-most people fail to lose weight. That’s the sad reality that we have to live with. Unfortunately, most people have all sorts of outdated ideas regarding how to hit the gym or exercise.
The old school way to hit the gym
The old thinking about exercise involves three things: People either focus on duration, repetitions, or cardiovascular exercises. There is nothing wrong with this mindset if you have the right set of circumstances. Unfortunately, most people don’t have enough time or energy. The problem with the old thinking is that you need to spend quite a bit of time at the gym because you are trying to pump out many repetitions or circuits when you are doing cardiovascular exercises. You have to go through a few circuits of cardiovascular exercise machines to work out.
The same problem applies to duration. People think that the best way to measure if you truly work out is how long you stayed in the gym.
Most people don’t have time for Old School exercise schedules
Again, the sad truth is, most people don’t have the luxury of time. They really don’t. They would rather do something else. The bottom line is, most people still like to get fit and lose weight. They just want to do it in a faster way.
Thankfully, there is a new training system that can allow you to have your cake and eat it too. This system is called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT.
High Intensity Interval Training defined
High Intensity Interval Training allows you to get lot of results in a ridiculously short period of time. You can budget as little as 20 minutes for your daily workout. You then break up this 20 minutes into equal parts active and resting times. You start with an active exercise time that lasts for several minutes. After you’re done actively exercising, you then rest for several minutes. You then restart again with the next active block. You keep doing this until you are done with your twenty or thirty minutes for each HIIT session.
A lot of people report amazing result with High Intensity Interval Training. First, you don’t have to spend so much time in the gym. In fact, you can do this at home. Second, you get a lot of results quickly because your focus is not on the old school benchmarks of exercise success: repetition, duration, or cardio circuit completions.
Make Intensity your benchmark
So what make’s HIIT different? The focus of this fitness method is not repetition or duration. Its not about how many cardio circuits you complete. It’s only focus is intensity. Your goals is to quickly reach a peak intensity level during the active block of time you budget to yourself.
How do you measure intensity? Well, it varies from person to person. Some people say that they reach intense level when their muscles are about to get sore. Other people define that high intensity peak level as the point where they start to feel extremely exhausted. Even others define it as the point where they are nearly out of breath. Whatever way you choose to define it, you have to reach that point and stay there until the rest period comes. You then stop and rest a few minutes then you workout at that high intensity level again.
Keep at it
The secret to HIIT is to keep at it. I wish there is some sort of magic bullet that will work for all people in all situations. Personally, when I first used HIIT, I had a tough time sticking to it-until I discovered I can take baby steps with it.
The good news is that you don’t have to stick to a twenty minute block. If all you can devote is ten minutes, then so be it. Baby steps are fine. As long as you get off the fence and take action on this exercise system, you will get results. The secret is to start but you have to keep you going.
This also means you have to scale up. Simply sticking to a 20 minute routine is fine but you have to scale up the intensity of the active workout within the timeframe after a few weeks. You need to push yourself to the limit where you are about to break down then rest. You then push yourself to the limit again. Intensity is the key. The more intense you work out, the more calories you burn.
The best part is that you burn a tremendous amount of calories in a remarkably short period of time. This sounds good to be true? Try it. You just need to commit yourself to at least a 10 minute block. You’ll be surprised on how much you can achieve if you focus on intensity. It doesn’t matter of how much time you give yourself, as long as you budget it correctly, you will get results. Of course, to get the most out of High Intensity Interval Training, you have to scale up the intensity of your daily routine and mix up exercise types (ie., switch from weight training to cardio to resistance and back).
If you would like some samples of HIIT training or other interval training program you can get some great ideas at http://www.podaimaperformance.com/. Blaine Podaima is a firm believer in working harder not longer and I 100% agree with him on that!