With the New Year around the corner, I’m in the mindset of setting goals and aiming to shed off a few extra pounds that I’ve put on the last month. I’m a big fan of lifting weights, but also have to remember to add in cardiovascular activity at least 3 times a week. Cardio can definitely get boring at times, so I decided to try something new – high intensity interval training. I spoke with Justin Deming, NASAM Certified Personal Trainer, about the benefits of high intensity interval training to get his insight on why this type of cardio is so unique.
“High Intensity Interval Training, commonly referred to as “HIIT”, is one of the most efficient and quickest ways to burn fat. In addition to increasing your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, this training is highly effective at burning abdominal fat and even subcutaneous fat, which lies right beneath the skin. HIIT is implemented into the training of a wide range of individuals, from the highly athletic to your average Joe, essentially any individual looking to optimize their fitness abilities and reach their goals. In the fitness industry, trainers such as myself like to use a scale that measures exertion rate using numbers from 1-10. Ratings of 3-4 are considered easy to moderate work, such as walking at a steady pace, with 7-9 being hard to extremely hard, which includes sprinting as fast as you can. During HIIT, start with a warm up at a 3-4 for 5 minutes. After the warm up, perform a speed interval where you push to a 7-9 on the exertion rate scale anywhere from 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes. After the speed interval, make sure you have a recovery period (measured at a 5-6) for as long as or longer than the speed interval. The recovery phase is just as important as the speed phase in your training regiment. Keep performing speed intervals coupled with recovery intervals anywhere from 4-8 times depending on your individual health and aerobic capacity. Most people make a common error by cutting their recovery intervals too short. HIIT should not be used as a year-round training protocol. Consult your local fitness professional for a HIIT training regimen.”
You can perform HIIT on the treadmill, on the stair stepper, and even outside with sprints; cardio doesn’t have to be boring! Along with lifting weights and HIIT, eating clean, limiting my sweets, and incorporating coconut oil into my diet are three rules that I live by when trying to slim down. Coconut oil has been my go-to healthy fat, especially before my workout. Since coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride, it gets processed like a carbohydrate (energy), instead of being stored in the body. Try making my bananas foster protein shake and pair this with a few rice cakes to help fuel your body for a strong workout. For more tips and healthy recipes, make sure to check out my quick ab workout and apple crisp, eating clean with coconut oil guide and my top 5 uses for coconut oil and working out. Weight loss can be a journey, but with the right mindset, hard work, and determination, success will be achieved.