Sunday, June 23, 2019

How HIIT Keeps You Young

Let’s get real - everyone wants to stave off the aging process as long as possible and tap into the fountain of youth. But before you reach for the botox and start guzzling green juice, consider taking up HIIT.


HIIT or high-intensity interval training has been proven to help turn back the clock and boasts a whole range of other health benefits, too. Whether you are looking to slow down the aging process mentally or physically, HIIT workouts are fast becoming a favorite among the 50+ set to keep themselves looking and feeling young.

Read on as we take a look at the rise in popularity of this new workout craze, explain what it is and how it can help you turn back the clock.

What is HIIT?


High-Intensity Interval Training is no new thing, but the booming health and fitness industry has seen this form of exercise explode in popularity. Another factor contributing to HIIT’s success is the rise of fitness chains promoting HIIT based workouts, think Barry’s Bootcamp, Orangetheory, F45, and SoulCycle.

Far from being limited to one workout, HIIT is essentially any form of exercise that combines bouts of intense physical activity with rest periods - essentially pushing the body to the limit, resting and repeating. HIIT workouts can take many forms, including weight and endurance training, cycling, running or any combination of the above.

How does it work?


Many of the benefits of HIIT come from pushing the body to its limit and significantly elevating the heart rate in the process. Let’s take a look at the many ways HIIT can help you turn back the clock.

It increases oxygen capacity in cells


In studies undertaken on individuals embarking on HIIT and other exercise regimes, those who had been performing the HIIT workouts presented considerable increases in mitochondrial capacity - the process by which the body’s cells take in oxygen to produce energy.

As we age, our cells’ mitochondrial capacity typically begins the decline. By helping increase
mitochondrial capacity, HIIT workouts help cells take in oxygen and transport it around the body to provide energy and maintain normal cellular function.

It burns fat


As in any anaerobic workout, HIIT training not only burns fat while you’re exercising by turning it into fuel, the intensity of the workout means your body continues to burn fat after the fact as it works to repair muscle and return to its natural resting state. Talk about the workout that keeps on giving!

It prevents cell death


OK, this one sounds a little shocking we know, but stay with us. Ever heard of telomeres? Well, you can think of these guys as little caps that sit on the end of your chromosomes, protecting them from all sorts of damage. Environmental and lifestyle factors like poor diet or smoking can work to shorten these telomeres effectively leading to a shortened lifespan of the cell and, eventually, the human.

The good news is, high-intensity exercises like HIIT have been proven to prevent the shortening of telomeres and prolong the lifespan of cells.

It improves heart health


Another benefit of HIIT is the impact on stroke volume. By ramping up your cardiovascular system, interval training literally gets your blood pumping, increasing the amount pumped from the left ventricle of the heart per beat.

It increases muscle growth


Muscle growth can seriously slow as we get older. Interval training has been proven to stimulate several bodily functions that lead to muscle growth. By putting a large amount go stress over major muscle groups, HIIT stimulates the release of human growth hormone, testosterone and a hormone similar to insulin that works to repair muscles and encourage new growth.

In addition to promoting new muscle growth, HIIT training can help prevent the deterioration of existing muscle. Interval training has a proven ability to boost the activity of ribosomes, a cellular particle that plays a large role in stopping muscular deterioration.

It helps your body recover 


The intensive nature of HIIT produces a lot of metabolic waste which are removed by the body during rest periods. The repetitive nature of interval training encourages the body to adapt to quick turnaround time and repair itself quicker to be ready for the next bout of exercise. In a real-world context, this primes the body and ensures it is better able to recover from falls and other incidents that can affect older people.

Is that all? 


But wait, there’s more. One of the most appealing things about HIIT is that you don’t need to do it every day to see results. In fact, some studies have shown that in order to get the best results it’s most beneficial to perform HIIT workouts a maximum of three days per week with rest days in between.

Is HIIT just for older people?


Absolutely not! While studies have shown the age-defying benefits are more pronounced in older adults, interval training brings big benefits to those of all ages. In fact, younger adults with no preexisting health issues may be able to get more out of their workout by pushing themselves further. Mentally, the benefits of establishing good habits while young are huge. Physically, in addition to promoting fat loss and cardiovascular health, muscle growth tends to be easier for younger adults and is easier to maintain over time than grow in old age.

Are there any risks?


As with any exercise, HIIT workouts can post some risk to those with pre-existing medical conditions or limited heart function. Especially for older individuals, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before beginning any new type of workout.

If you are concerned about overexerting yourself, try wearing a heart monitor to measure your heart rate and start slow, building up to more and more challenging workouts, taking regular breaks as required.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

How HIIT Affects Your Bones


High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has quickly emerged as one of the most popular training techniques of the last decade, and rightfully so.

By leveraging intermittent, abrupt bursts of exercise followed by rest periods, millions of people around the world are enjoying enormous health benefits, including significantly better cardiovascular fitness, lower mortality rates, better cognition & alertness, and more. Coupled with breakthroughs on the health benefits of weight training, structured resistance-based HIIT is the single most effective training system on the market.

What, then, is the catch?

For years the concern around HIIT (and really, cardiovascular exercise in general), has been the toll it puts on your bones. One camp of adherents religiously decries it for the negative impact so much consistent force places on your joints and cartilage. The other insists the cartilage effects are overstated, and that HIIT is a godsend for bone density and strength.

The answer, as always, is somewhere in the middle, although leaning on one side more than the other. We’ve tried to do a reasonable, objective assessment of the impacts of HIIT on your skeletal system as well as a few recommendations near the bottom of the article on how to improve your response.

Read on.

Bone Density


Many studies have shown a strong causal link between HIIT and strong bone density. In facts, some studies have shown improved bone mineral density/content in as little as 6 weeks of interval training. When it comes to general bone health, the literature is clear: HIIT has a clear, obvious & nearly immediate impact on improving your bone density.

So how does it handle longer-term & chronic bone conditions?

HIIT and Osteoarthritis


Women, in particular, are affected heavily by this debate, and often avoid high-intensity exercise in an effort to stave off osteoarthritis/osteoporosis in the future. For decades there has lingered an idea that high-intensity exercise leads to poor bone health in women - unfortunately, this avoidance of exercise often ends up having the opposite effect.

A new Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that doing high-impact jumping exercises three times a week for 55 minutes actually strengthens knee cartilage in women who have osteoarthritis.

"High-impact movements have been thought to harm the cartilage and accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis," says study author Jarmo Koli. "But our research supports the view that cartilage benefits from gliding with compression, since the knee glides in front of the femur bone during the kinds of exercises we studied."

The literature surrounding a possible causal link between interval training and bone damage is unclear. What is clear, however, is that when an individual already struggles with osteoarthritis/osteoporosis, HIIT can actually help improve the situation.

The flip side


What’s clear with HIIT is that it inarguably improves your bone density. What’s unclear is the net gain of HIIT on your entire mobilization system - what good are strong bones if you can’t move them? There are a lot of question marks about whether HIIT is good for your ability to move and act in the long term.

The question marks around this is primarily based on one thing: human error.

In a vacuum, if you do HIIT perfectly, and couple it with proper rest periods, you won’t have any issues. You’ll enjoy great cardiovascular health, strong bone health, the works. So what’s the issue?

Most people don’t do it correctly.

Incorrect & hurried HIIT as well as insufficient rest periods leads to inflammation and, ultimately, damage. The most common damage comes in the form of tears - tears of meniscal cartilage shock absorbers, usually in the knees. Exercises like burpees and squats put tremendous pressure on the cartilage in your knees (the equivalent of 7-8 times your bodyweight), and is largely responsible for most of the fear around “bone health” and HIIT.

So, how do you deal with this and make your interval training responsible and effective?

1. No pain, no gain is bull. Avoid the gymbro machismo and be reasonable with your training. There is no reason that training should hurt, and even if it does hurt, it shouldn’t feel like your joints are hurting - you should be able to recognize the difference between muscle pain and joint pain, and stop immediately if it’s the latter.

2. Your diet matters. One of the primary causes of chronic injuries and HIIT is inflammation. A proper diet enables you to recover quickly and keeps inflammation to a minimum, allowing you to work out at your best.

3. Adequate rest periods. First-time gym goers suffer from this the most. Quality over quantity is the name of the game - killing yourself for 3 hours a day isn’t going to improve your life. HIIT should fit in with the rest of your week, and you should have adequate rest - much more than you think you need. Take at least 2 or 3 rest days a week from HIIT.

4. Talk to your doctor. I know, this advice sucks to hear - nobody wants to go to a doctor. The fact is, if you don’t have great joint health, you need to take a much more structured approach to HIIT. Go get a check up and make sure everything’s in working order - you can still enjoy the benefits of HIIT without doing exercises that will cripple your knees.

And that's pretty much it! High intensity interval training is a fantastic way to get in amazing shape, see elevated moods, increased energy and, yes, improve your bone strength - a lot. However, you won't reap those benefits unless you do things the right way, and avoid cartilage damage.

Also, consider supplementing your HIIT with weight/resistance training. Strengthening your large muscle groups will enable you to distribute weight off of your joints during HIIT, and lead to a better mobilization of your bones. Just like with the interval training itself, your exercise routine should be balanced.

Happy training!

Sprinterval is an app for iPhones and Android that helps you get started with Sprint Interval Training.



Saturday, April 27, 2019

How HIIT Affects Your Muscles

Everyone wants to get in shape, but many people go about it the wrong way. They’ll waste hours and hours on the treadmill or stationary bike, mind-numbingly glued to the machines. Unfortunately, research has shown that this can actually be counterproductive to muscle growth.

Steady-state cardio could even cause you to lose muscle if you’re not careful! So, what should you be doing then? Should you just avoid cardio entirely? Well, no, but you might need to go about it a different way.

In this article, we’ll be talking about the benefits of high-intensity interval training. We’ll explain why everyone is doing it, what the benefits are, and how you can make it a part of your routine to shed fat faster and build more muscle.

We’ll get to the benefits of HIIT and how it impacts your muscles in a minute, but first let’s talk about what HIIT is and where it came from. Who pioneered high-intensity interval training? Athletes looking to get the best performance from their training of course.


What is HIIT and where did it come from?


Despite what people may think, HIIT is not anything new. Athletes from as early as 1910 have been using interval training to condition their bodies for competitive sports. Hannes Kolehmainen, an Olympic gold medalist from Finland also trained using similar techniques.

HIIT means performing brief, but high-intensity bursts of cardio followed by equal periods of rest. As an example, you might consider sprinting. This would require you to run as fast as you can for a short period of time, and then follow that up with walking or a slow jog.

While many people have bemoaned the uselessness of steady cardio like biking or running when trying to gain muscle mass, the studies for HIIT tell a different story. In this study, comparing HIIT to steady-state cardio, the group who performed HIIT exercises gained nearly two pounds of muscle. The steady-state cardio group lost almost a pound.

That’s a staggering result, and if you’ve been on the fence about adopting a HIIT routine, you should definitely take a closer look. While you might think that it would be common sense that you would burn more fat with a longer cardio workout, another study says that while you would burn more calories, you could actually burn more body fat with HIIT.

So, what’s the downside to HIIT training? Well, interval training is very taxing on your body. You’re literally going as hard as you can in that time period, and that means that you need to be more careful about your recovery time. It’s important not to overtax your body when you incorporate HIIT into your workout routine.


What are the benefits of HIIT?


There are a lot of benefits to establishing a HITT routine. For starters, those sudden bursts of activity do an amazing job of burning a ton of calories in a short period of time. You could even burn up to 30% more calories with HIIT versus other methods of exercise.

HIIT has also been shown to boost your metabolic rate for an extended period of time even after your workout is over. This allows you to continue burning fat throughout the day.

It also allows you to do cardio while still gaining muscle, which is likely one of the biggest benefits of HITT. Especially seeing as steady-state cardio could even cause you to lose muscle mass.

This study also found that HIIT can reduce blood sugar and increase insulin resistance. How big of a difference is it? Enough for researchers to find it useful for diabetics, and it does a better job at it than traditional exercises as well.

There’s also evidence that HIIT can actually increase the proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers. Fast-twitch muscle fibers have less in the way of endurance, but they can give a much larger boost to overall strength and power when compared to slow-twitch muscle fibers.


How does HIIT affect your muscles?


So, what makes HIIT so special? Why is it superior to boring old steady-state cardio? HIIT succeeds where everyday cardio fails because it can actually increase testosterone and GLUT4 concentrations, while steady-state cardio can actually be detrimental to testosterone.

Intense cardio periods, like the ones that appear during a HIIT workout actually deprive your body of oxygen. Your muscles then attempt to compensate for this by working harder to return to their normal state.

That’s really the magic of HIIT and why it allows your body to torch calories so quickly, but it also allows you to pack on more muscle. HIIT actually forces your body to use a greater percentage of your muscle fibers than something like jogging would, and that leads to a much larger boost in muscle growth.

How do you get started with HIIT training?


If you want to get started with HIIT, this means giving it everything you’ve got. You’re literally looking to be moving as fast as you can for 15-30 seconds. Then you’ll need to follow that up with an at least equal, but possibly longer rest period.

While sprinting is often a common example used for HIIT routines, you don’t have to run if you don’t want to. There’s plenty of other popular choices like cycling, rowing and cross trainer machines.

HIIT can also be extremely effective if it’s paired with a weight lifting routine. Try completing your HIIT routine an hour or so before you start lifting weights to help shed fat faster. If you’ll be performing both HIIT and weight training on the same day, go for strength endurance training with more reps to maximize the benefits.

In closing, HIIT workouts are actually very flexible, and they can be performed with little to no equipment. You can do HIIT at home, at the gym, when you’re traveling for business or even in your downtime somewhere. Just remember to give yourself ample rest periods to avoid injuring yourself.

Sprinterval is an app that helps you get started with HIIT using sprints.


Sunday, April 7, 2019

How to Stretch Before You Run


Stretching is the number one thing to incorporate in your regular exercise routines to minimize the chances of injury during workouts. Muscles need to be prepared and warmed up in order to function properly during the rigorous physical activity that will follow.

Stretches and stretch routines vary as much as there are different types of exercises and plans. If you’re to stretch before going for a run, you will concentrate on the core, hips, legs, calf, and ankle muscles. These are the muscles that will be used during jogging, so these parts of the body have to be warmed up before you hit the treadmill or pavement.

Warm-ups and stretches can help prevent injury and also increase your performance level during your workout or jog. It’s always a good idea to plan a few minutes before starting any activity to stretch out those muscles and get them prepared.

Do your stretches while focusing on the movement and not the number of repetitions. Feel your muscles and joints energize and warm up. Make your stretch routine count and let it be beneficial to your body.

Let’s warm up those muscles!

Stretching Before Running


Stretching the main muscles located in the hips and legs is recommended before running to energize and warm up the core muscles that you will be using during your run. Doing a few localized and effective stretches will warm up your muscles and your joints to help prevent injury and provide valuable energy to get going with your run.


Dynamic Stretches


The most effective stretches to do before a run are dynamic stretches as opposed to static stretches. The movements should be light and increasing. The muscles that you will want to concentrate on are your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hips, and calves.

5 Great Stretches for Runners


1. Hip Flexor Swing - This stretch helps improve hip mobility.
  • Hold on to something and stand on your right leg.
  • Swing the left one back and then forward. Build the stretch farther as you repeat. 
  • 15-20 repetitions on each leg

2. Hip Abductor – This stretch helps improve mobility
  • Hold on to something and stand on your right leg.
  • Swing your left leg crossways on top of the right one and then the other way. Build the stretch further as you repeat.
  • 15-20 repetitions for each leg.

3. Calf Raises – This stretch helps warm up the calf muscles
  • Stand on a step or a stair with the front of your feet firm and the back hanging.
  • Lower your heels past the stair.
  • Raise up on your toes.
  • 10-15 repetitions 
4. Lunge Walking – This stretch warms up hips
  • Large step forward with your right leg.
  • Bend until thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • Repeat with other leg.
  • 15-20 lunges.
5. Rotate Ankles – This stretch helps ankles flexibility
  • Sit on the floor and grab your right ankle.
  • Rotate your ankle in circular motion switching from clockwise to counterclockwise.
  • 15-20 repetitions for each ankle.


Stretching Before HIIT


Interval Sprint training has become increasingly popular in the last several years. There’s a good reason more and more people are hopping on the trend because it has proven to provide fast calorie burning and quick results.

Sprint training takes less time than a regular workout. Your body is subjected to short, intense periods of extreme exercise followed by short periods of rest and recovery. This is repeated several times over the course of approximately 25 minutes or so. This is meant to raise your heart rate to 80% or 90%, then bring it down a little but not completely.

Stretching before HIIT is different as you will want to warm up your muscles by mimicking the movements that you will be doing during your HIIT workout. It’s best to do dynamic stretches for pre-HIIT workouts. You want to slowly raise your heart rate and body temperature. A few minutes is sufficient to warm your muscles and prepare them for your interval sprint training.

Try These Quick and Easy Warm-Ups


When doing warmups before your HIIT workout, remember that the movement is important, not the number of repetitions. Focus on doing the movement fully and intently.

Jumping Jacks or Jumping Rope

Jumping jacks and jump rope are time-honored fitness workout warm-ups.
Try 2 minutes of one of these to get the heart pumping and muscles fired up.

Push-ups

Push-ups will get your core muscles into action and ready for your HIIT workout.
10 to 20 push-ups while engaging your core.

Lunges 

20 lunges will rev up the legs.

Arm Circles

10 to 15 Small arm circles clockwise and counterclockwise.
10 to 15 large arm circles clockwise and counterclockwise.

Stretching IS Important


Stretching is as important as you hear it said everywhere. Every fitness instructor or professional will tell you that warming up and preparing your body to do a physical activity is mandatory if you don’t want to hurt yourself.

Stretches shouldn’t take up too much time to be efficient. When done correctly you can get those muscles warmed up and ready for your workout in a few short minutes. There’s no use spending a lot of time and energy on stretches, energy that you will need for your run or your workout.

Adapt the type of stretches to the workout you are about to do. Think about the muscles that will be used and focus on warming those up. The core is always a good idea to prepare for any workout because it’s central in most movements we make.

Your stretches should be efficient; otherwise it's a waste of time even doing them. Listen to your body and don’t overstretch. Take the repetitions s gradually and build the flexibility until you fell the muscles and joints warm and not rigid.

You know you have had a successful stretching warmup when your muscles feel warm and your joints are flexible. That simple.

Don’t forget to stretch!

Sprinterval helps you get started with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) using sprints. Available for iOS & Android.


Friday, March 15, 2019

Why HIIT is the Best Type of Exercise for Losing Weight



Why do you work out? If you answered, “To lose weight,” you are in good company, since this is one of the main reasons people name for exercising. Despite this desire, however, less than 5% of adults get the recommended amount of daily exercise, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Why the disconnect? 


There are many reasons that keep people from working out, but often it’s just too overwhelming to get started. Should you take up running? Join a gym? Lift weights? Take an aerobics class? However, if your goal is to lose weight, then high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is the best type of exercise, especially when compared to steady-state cardio, like jogging.

What is HIIT?


HIIT is a form of exercise that combines intense periods of exercise with short recovery periods. During the high-intensity intervals, the aim is for your heart rate to reach 80% to 90% of your max. If you aren’t sure what that looks like, a good test is to see if you can talk. If you can say more than a few words, you need to push yourself harder.

Why is HIIT Better than Other Types of Exercise?


While all physical activity will help you burn calories, HIIT has many advantages over other methods of working out. Here are five reasons why HIIT is a better way to exercise if you want to lose weight.

Continue to Burn Calories After the Workout


HIIT works by burning fat and not muscle and by stimulating this effect to continue after the workout is over. This happens because the short intense intervals push your body into an anaerobic state where the body uses its energy reserves. Since each interval uses more oxygen than the average low-intensity workout, your body will burn more calories.

You can thank an effect called EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, for helping to burn calories even once you’re done working out. And the higher the intensity, the higher the EPOC effect.

Can Use Any Exercise as a Base for HIIT


The form of exercise that will help you lose the most weight is the one you are willing to do and stick with. Although no fancy equipment is needed – HIIT workouts can be done using body weight alone – you can do a HIIT workout with weights, treadmills, exercise bikes, dancing and more. As long as you use the main principles of reaching your maximum intensity level for short an interval followed by a rest period, you will get the benefits of a HIIT workout. One HIIT workout won’t cause you to lose all the weight you want to lose. Consistency is key.

Endless Variety for all Levels


Microsoft released a study a few years ago that suggested that the average human adult has an attention span of 8 seconds, comically adding that this is less than that of a goldfish. Whether the number is truly 8 seconds, there's no denying that the human attention span has shortened in the digital age.

That’s why HIIT is so great. Short sprints are easier to maintain than long, boring, steady-state exercises. There are endless varieties to HIIT workouts, so you can mix it up before you lose interest. This variety means that you’re less likely to plateau as you become stronger. There’s always a way to make the workout more advanced.

More Enjoyable


Losing weight is difficult, there’s no sugar-coating it (sorry to mention sugar to someone who is trying to lose weight). Even if you never come to love any form of exercise, it’s easy to argue that HIIT is more enjoyable (or at least less miserable) than other forms of working out. Which would you prefer:

  • Long hours running on the track or quick bursts of high energy whose benefits continue after you end your workout? 
  • The same workout every single day or multiple routines that give you the same result?


The latter in both circumstances, right? If you find an exercise that is more enjoyable, you’re more likely to stick with it and thus more likely to lose weight.

Takes Up Less Time


If you want to lose weight but think you don’t have enough time in your busy schedule, then you need to try HIIT. Most HIIT workouts are under 30 minutes and because of their intensity, you only have to complete them a couple of times a week to see results. If you’re serious about losing weight, then you need to make it as easy as possible for yourself. You can remove the obstacle of a huge time commitment by using interval training.

Get Started with HIIT Today


Convinced of the benefits but unsure where to start? That’s where Sprinterval comes in. Our sprint interval training app makes it easy to get started with HIIT workouts. Download the app and start working out harder, not longer, today.



Resources:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389
https://theheartfoundation.org/2018/06/01/the-top-10-excuses-for-not-exercising-and-solutions/
https://gethealthyu.com/what-is-the-fastest-way-to-fat-loss/
https://www.muscleforlife.com/high-intensity-interval-training-and-weight-loss/
https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/index.html
http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/

Monday, February 18, 2019

4 Home HIIT Workouts



You don’t need a gym membership to get fit. You don’t even need to get outside. All you need is 30 minutes and the will to exercise.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is perfect as a home workout. HIIT is a combination of exercises that alternate high intensity activity with periods of recovery, strengthening the cardio-vascular system, burning body fat and building muscle fast.

Be aware that due to the high intensity, HIIT is not for beginners. If you’re just starting out, don’t over-exert yourself. Do a lighter version of HIIT with shorter activity and longer rest periods, and start with once per week.

Here are 4 HIIT workouts that you can easily do from the comfort of your own living room. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down!

1. No-equipment training – 25 minutes

The beauty of HIIT is that you don’t need any special equipment for exercising. There are so many bodyweight exercises that you can incorporate into your training, just mix and match for variety.

Here is one example of a 25-minute workout that will target the entire body, burning body fat and building muscle. The workout has two parts, each comprised by set of 6 exercises. Do as many reps as you can in the active interval, and do both sets of exercises twice.

Part 1: 45 seconds of exercise, 15 seconds of rest 

Complete two sets of the following exercises:

  • burpees
  • butt-kicks
  • jump squats
  • lateral lunges
  • tuck jumps
  • plank jacks

Part 2: 35 seconds of exercise, 25 seconds of rest 

Complete two sets of the following exercises:

  • burpees
  • mountain climbers
  • squats
  • reverse crunch 
  • reverse lunge 
  • butt-kicks

2. Tabata workout – 10 minutes


Tabata workouts are one of the programs that sound too good to be true, only actually true. 
Being very efficient, they’re perfect for working out at home on a busier day, when 10-15 minutes is all you have.

Created by Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Tabata training significantly increases both the aerobic and anaerobic systems in a very short workout.

Each exercise in a Tabata workout is only 4 minutes long, but will feel like the longest 4 minutes of your life. If you do it right, you won’t be able to sustain a long workout. If you can do a 30-minute routine, it’s not Tabata, it just means the intensity isn’t high enough.

Exercise structure

20 seconds of max intensity exercise
10 seconds of rest
complete 8 rounds
rest for 1 minute after each set of 8 rounds

Creating a workout

You can incorporate any exercises you like, as long as you do them at your maximum intensity.
Burpees, squats, jump squats, mountain climbers and reverse lunges are all great for a Tabata workout. Combine 2 exercises for a 10-minute workout.

Example:
Set 1:  squats
Do 20 seconds of high intensity squats, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat another 7 times. 
Rest for 1 minute.

Set 2: mountain climbers
Do 20 seconds of high intensity mountain, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat another 7 times. 

Start with incorporating Tabata training into your routine once a week in order to prevent over-training.


3. Dumbbells routine – 20 minutes



If you love interval training but you also love weightlifting, why not combine the two? Grab your dumbbells (or buy an inexpensive set from any sports store) and let’s do a 20-minute workout. You will need a lighter set for upper body exercises and a heavier one for your lower body.

Complete 4 sets of the following 4 exercises.
Complete each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest.

  • dumbbell lunges (heavier set)
  • dumbbell squats (heavier set)
  • bridge with dumbbell bench press (lighter set)
  • dumbbell jumping jacks (lighter set)
  • V-sit dumbbell press (lighter set)


4. Kettlebell routine – 15 minutes



Kettlebells are a very popular workout tool and for a good reason. They combine strength, cardio and flexibility, offering a full-body conditioning in a short period of time.
As opposed to regular weights, kettlebells focus on dynamic exercises performed with a wider range of motion.

If you have a kettlebell, you can use it as part of a HIIT workout. Try the following quick workout:

Part 1:  40 seconds exercise, 20 seconds rest

Start with one set of the following 5 bodyweight exercises to warm up your body and prevent injuries.

  • star jacks
  • mountain climbers
  • squats
  • plank jacks
  • lateral lunges


Part 2: 30 seconds exercise, 30 seconds rest

Grab your kettlebell, and complete two sets of the following 5 exercises:

  • two handed kettlebell swings
  • two handed kettlebell jump squats
  • kettlebell clean
  • kettlebell Russian twist
  • side step kettlebell swing


Cool down with some stretches and don’t forget to hydrate your body and eat a healthy meal after your workout.

Sprinterval helps you get started with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  Available for iOS and Android.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The 7 Best Supplements for your HIIT Workout


Millions of people all over the world are turning to High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to burn fat, build lean muscle, and improve their heart health. Thanks to the bump in post-exercise oxygen consumption you get as a result of a high-intensity workout, you’ll even burn calories after your workout is over.

To maximize the benefits of HIIT, however, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone during each workout. Just as its name implies, HIIT is meant to be intense. So how can you speed muscle recovery and increase your energy level to stay on track with your workouts? A supplement may be just the boost you need. Here are seven of the best supplements to power your HIIT workout.

Magnesium

Our bodies need magnesium. It’s used in hundreds of chemical reactions that keep us running at peak performance. While it’s found naturally in foods like leafy greens, dark chocolate, and coffee, your body may not be absorbing enough through diet alone. A magnesium supplement will help with muscle recovery, glucose management, bone strength, and nervous system function. HIIT workouts demand a large amount of ATP, a molecule used for energy. Magnesium supports the production of ATP to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue.

Caffeine

Just like magnesium, we source much of our caffeine consumption from food and drinks. It is a popular supplement for HIIT workout enthusiasts because of its ability to create mental alertness, increase endurance, and even maximize muscle strength during workouts. HIIT consists of short rounds of explosive activity. In between these rounds, your body seeks energy stores to fuel the next round and manage muscle fatigue. While you should consult your physician before adding any supplement to your diet, caffeine can give you a short-term energy lift to help push you to the end of your workout. If you’re not a coffee lover, try a caffeine anhydrous supplement 30 minutes before you begin your intervals.

Citrulline

Citrulline is one of the many amino acids our body creates and synthesizes to create nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide has lots of great benefits for HIIT athletes, including increased blood flow to keep muscles performing at their best. As an added benefit, citrulline helps deflect the extra ammonia your body produces during intense workouts.

L-Carnitine

One of the other key amino acids our body needs for optimal performance is L-carnitine. It not only boosts the production of ATP, but it also aids the body in storing muscle glycogen. The result is delayed fatigue, faster recovery times, and improved muscle strength. HIIT, because of its intensity, can lead to higher production of free radicals. L-carnitine slows their production, cutting down on muscle soreness and tissue damage in the process.

Greens

We all know the benefits of eating plenty of leafy, green vegetables. They neutralize acidity during exercise by shutting down the buildup of excess hydrogen ions that lower pH levels and create muscle fatigue. While you can certainly add greens as part of your regular diet, a greens supplement will amplify the alkanizing benefit, helping you perform more sets with less fatigue and soreness.

Betaine

Betaine is a by-product of glycine, an essential amino acid. It has several powerful effects during a HIIT workout, including lowered lactic acid, better protein synthesis, and protection against muscle fatigue and exhaustion. As a bonus, if you struggle with GI upset during or after a HIIT workout (a result of high lactic acid levels), betaine can aid with digestion and lessen the strain on your GI tract.

Creatine

Creatine gets a lot of buzz in the sports world for its ability to increase strength and muscle growth. But does it have an impact on HIIT results? Absolutely. Creatine deflects pH during intense workouts, resulting in more energy during exercise and shorter recovery time between workouts. It’s vital to short-term energy supply has been shown to speed the growth of new muscle.

If you’re looking for an extra edge for your HIIT workouts, supplements may be a simple, effective way to bump up your energy levels and aid recovery time. If you’re unsure which supplements are right for you, consult your physician or a nutritionist to create the right supplement plan for your fitness goals.

Interested in getting into HIIT workouts, but not sure where to start? Sprinterval is an app for HIIT beginners, available on your Android or iOS device.