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Friday, January 21, 2011

HITT Cardio - High Intensity Interval Cardio to Burn Body Fat & Calories

On Wednesday, I talked about the different types of cardio you can try for your fitness goals. Today I will go into more detail on HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training.
Do you tend to get bored or tired of the same cardio routine? Do you skip cardio because you hate it? There are multiple choices for cardiovascular exercises both aerobic and anaerobic. You don't have to get bored doing the same things but you also may have limited choice with the machines provided you at the gym or at home. One way to freshen up your cardio and make it more fun is to challenge yourself with HIIT training. It is done according to your level so anyone can do it as long as they are testing their limits during the higher intervals, safely of course. You can use this form of training with machines or with just those legs of yours.

HIIT is a newly popular form of cardiovascular exercise which stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It has taken hard core exercisers by storm. Men and women are using this with excellent results in fat loss and it's also popular among competitors. It takes away from the traditional fat loss cardio work by shortening your total exercise time but intensifying intervals within the exercise time. It brings challenge to the work you are doing for every second you are doing it.
The walk-jog type programs are similarly set up with intervals but the speeds are taken to higher levels and increased over time progressively.
Bodybuilders use this because they feel it does not take away from their bodies' ability to produce lean muscle gains, many do not like to do cardio until lean down and find it can be catabolic. Lifters feel HIIT does not hinder but actually enhances strength, another group who are usually also limiting cardio.

The normal time you do HIIT for can range from 4-15 mins per day in general. One way to do it is to increase your speed on a recumbent bike every minute for X amount of mins, then slowly increasing minutes each session or weekly. To ripen things you can use 30 second intervals and increase that way.
Some people like to add recovery intervals as they will need to catch their breath and rather than stop they decrease for an interval, back to starting speed then resume up to the next level you were supposed to do. So if you were at 72mph after 6 minutes using 30 second intervals and needed to stop you would go back to 60mph for 30 seconds then immediately up to 73mph. Those can be counted or excluded in the count of actual exercise time.
Another way to do it is back step every few intervals until you have a few sessions under your belt then go for the progressive increase. Start at four minutes. This may seem ridiculously low but for some it is the level to begin at and it's much harder than you think if you apply the correct theory.
Fat loss is and always be dependent on diet so do understand that to make HIIT effective for fat burning you will want to eat right and frequently. Portion control is great but you should never be hungry. Choose the right foods and go heavy on dark leafy greens, protein and moderate on starches such as oatmeal, carrots, squash, tubers and grains. For the lifters and bodybuilders the same goes but really pay attention to your macro breakdowns every season - on, off and pre.
I offer cardio programs for anyone with fitness goals, including those are looking to lose weight as well as competitive bodybuilders or lifters. You can read about the programs and then contact me at

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