I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Traditional forms of cardio SUCK!
Go back and read that sentence one more time so it sinks in.
We’ve all got that in-law or coworker who knows somebody that lost a lot of weight “…just running an hour or two every day” or heard of someone who dropped several sizes when they took up cycling. And the reality is many people do lose weight with traditional forms of cardio like running, cycling, and even step aerobics.
The thing is, to see any real results you have to invest a large chunk of time into training nearly every single day. And, even then, the results you do get are of very poor quality.
Do you want to spend and hour or more every day doing slow, boring “exercise” just to end up looking “skinny-fat” (you weigh less but still lack that “in shape” look you seek)?
Yeah, I wouldn’t either.
The good news is you have a much better option – High Intensity Interval Training!
It isn’t a secret that I am a huge proponent of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). If you have ever been to my blog, (Un)Caged Fighter, or read any of my other articles here at Associated Content you already know that nearly all of my training articles center around doing certain exercises and drills in a Highly Intense, interval-type manner.
The problem is there are so many out there that don’t seem to understand the value of HIIT.
I’m not really sure who to blame. There’s simply too much information out there about training and exercise – and a lot of it is contradictory. The average person doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to trying to figure out the most effective way to burn fat and get in shape.
So, I’m going to give you guys the Top Three Reasons HIIT will give you the best “bang for your buck” when it comes to burning fat and getting in shape.
Oh, and because I’m such a nice guys I’ll avoid any sort of anecdotal evidence or stories I may have heard from an in-law or coworker and actually back up my claims with real research.
1. High Intensity Interval Training Gives you the Same or Better Results in Less Time – In a recent McMaster University study it was shown that, despite doing less total exercise than those who do traditional forms of cardio, participants who engaged in HIIT saw the same benefits. Participants trained 3 days a week doing interval sessions of 1 minute of peak activity followed by 1 minute of rest on a stationary cycle. It was noted by one of the studies authors that you would have to commit to 10 hours of cycling over a 2 week period to see the same results as those in the study.
2. High Intensity Interval Training Burns More Fat – In another study (this time at Laval University in Canada) participants doing HIIT training lost 9 times MORE Fat than those who did typical endurance-style cardio. Oh, and the HIIT group achieved those results 5 weeks sooner than the endurance group.
3. High Intensity Interval Training Helps Maintain Muscle Mass – Several studies have confirmed that HIIT causes a trainees body to preferentially burn fat as fuel – thus preventing carbohydrates and protein from being used as fuel. This is good news for those of us who want to attain a more aesthetically pleasing look. If you loose a significant portion of your lean body mass due to too much traditional cardio you’ll end up looking more like Evans Rutto. Personally, I’d prefer to stick with HIIT and look more like Usain Bolt.
This only scratches of the surface of the myriad benefits of HIIT. Now you can get significantly greater results in significantly less time than with traditional forms of cardio. Time is no longer an issue.
Now get out there and train hard!
1. Impact of Exercise Intensity on Body Fatness and Skeletal Muscle Metabolism – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8028502
2. High Intensity Interval Training is Time Efficient and Effective – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100311123639.htm
3. A practical model of low-volume high-intensity interval training induces mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle: potential mechanisms
4. Muscle Na+-K+-ATPase activity and isoform adaptations to intense interval exercise and training in well-trained athletes. – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=High%20intensity%20interval%20training%20protein%20synthesis
5. High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle. – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19088769