Power Up Your Workout: HIIT and Body Weight Training

By Ansley M. Childree, BSEP, ACSM-HFS

According to the annual fitness trend survey conducted by the American Council on Exercise, some shocking discoveries were revealed that in the past have proved predictable. With HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) taking the top spot, it might be wise to assume that more people are getting in shape and are able to handle intense exercise levels offered with the HIIT. Following behind HIIT in the second place slot was Body Weight Training (BWT), which is actually a large component in HIIT training. Both HIIT and BWT can be performed with little to no expensive equipment, which may be attracting more people due to the imbalance in the economy this past year.

A large benefit of this high intensity training is the EPOC (Excessive Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) response of the body; an affect of increasing the heart rate during the workout and keeping it at the anaerobic state with shorter rest periods. This heart rate response will prove more advantageous than a “steady-state” heart rate (keeping the heart rate around 35 to 65 percent of your maximal heart rate) achieved with endurance aerobic training. After completing a HITT session your heart rate will stay elevated for a quite some time to metabolize the increased lactate levels, so the body can return to home base equilibrium. What does this mean for you? You will burn calories 1 to 2 hours AFTER your workout!

In summary, incorporating HIIT and/or Body Weight Training into a weekly exercise regimen can help save time by allowing you to exercise intensely for 20 to 30 minutes and receive the same, if not more, benefits as exercising for 60 minutes at a moderate, aerobic level. Other benefits include little to no equipment, saving money due to less equipment expenses, and burning off those hard-earned calories several hours after completing your workout. Sticking with this type of exercise and pushing through the intensity will be worth it for your health.

A HIIT workout involves intense bursts of energy with short periods of rest. To give it a try, pick five bodyweight exercises. Perform 30 seconds of each exercise with a 60-second rest break between sets. Complete this sequence five times for a solid interval workout.

Works Cited

[1] Thompson, W. (2013). Now Trending: Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2014. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, 17, 10-16. www.acsm-healthfitness.org

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