The best form of cardio I’ve done is most definitely HIIT.
During my days as a bodybuilder, I had a strict program to follow. When I was three weeks away from a show, I dedicated myself to 3 sessions a week of HIIT. I did a variety of the following:
- Hill sprints
- Sprints on the treadmill
- Intervals on a spin bike
- Intervals on the cross trainer
This allowed me to use different forms of resistance so that my body was always working within different intensities. Giving the body variety is essential, as it intends to create a set point for weight loss. Once it’s onto a routine, weight loss stalls – and that’s when frustration sets.
What’s the best technique
HIIT involves bursts of highly intense exercise, altered with a recovery period. This rest period gives your body a small window to rest but not enough to allow the heart rate to recover completely. Intervals are only required for about 20 minutes per session. Despite the short workout, the benefits are twice as much as other bodyweight exercises.
I love interval training because it’s straightforward to perform, even in the comfort of your own home. You can use any resistance or even a skipping rope. The more variety you have, the better the results (and the more fun you will have as well!).
Putting on your most highly energetic music while all this is happening increases the intensity even more and motivates you to push on. This worked very well for me. When you are at the final stages of your competition prep, you are depleted and lacking the caloric influx you need, and I was given the boost I needed just through music.
HIIT is the king exercise for fast fat burn (in half the time!)
1. The caloric burn peak
There is the potential to burn twice as many calories at a faster rate with HIIT. It surpasses weight training! Both are used for different goals, and I would not recommend spending all of your time on HIIT training. You don’t want to work out at a high intensity daily for long periods and may burn out.
HIIT is perfect if you don’t enjoy cardio and want to get in and out of the gym.
2. Higher metabolic rate for hours after exercise
Just like weights, HIIT also helps you burn calories after you exercise. That’s what you want if weight loss is your primary goal.
HIIT also shifts the body’s metabolism towards using fat for energy rather than carbs. It’s the way to increase the efficiency of your metabolism – and adding your nutrition into the mix makes it a powerhouse!
3. Getting rid of body fat
Want to get rid of some stubborn fat stores in your body? Then HIIT is your best mate here. But don’t dismiss moderately intense training either, as they are great ways to reduce body fat and weight circumference. Variety is vital, and walking is just as good if you feel exhausted one day.
The fat you need to target is visceral – as this tends to be found all around your internal organs. This fat can cause many health issues, and the faster you eliminate it, the better it is for your health. If you have relatively large belly fat, HIIT is a great way to combat this.
Don’t be put off by the smaller time commitment because this form of training works. Use it with your lower-intensity cardio, and don’t forget about your weight training. This is just as important as intensive training. Balance and structure are key to any fat loss program.
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