Let’s assume you are in fairly good shape without any significant health problems and your primary goal is weight loss. High intensity interval training also referred to as HIIT is what you should be doing. This type of training will increase your human growth hormone (HGH) and it will cause an after-burn effect so that your body can replenish lost glycogen stores in the muscles and liver from stored fat for up to 48 hours or so. That means you can lose body fat even while you sleep if done properly!
However, the key to making this happen is to not eat any forbidden carbohydrate foods that are white in color after you exercise and minimal amounts at all other times. It’s okay to eat protein foods and other foods that contain good fats, along with all colored vegetables. Fruits are okay in moderation, but don’t overdo it because some are high on the glycemic index and can hinder your weight loss results.
So what type of exercise should you do to accomplish a good HIIT workout?
Well, first things first. I highly recommend using a heart rate monitor to gauge your workout. You should get one that incorporates a chest strap for the best accuracy.
The best exercise machine to use for optimal weight loss in my opinion is the elliptical machine where both arms and legs are moving at the same time. It’s easy on the joints and it gets the job done with it comes to a HIIT workout.
Simply get on the machine and take note of your starting heart rate. Take it easy for about 5 minutes or so to allow your body time to warmup. You can even walk a treadmill or ride a stationary bike for 10 minutes or so to warmup before using the elliptical.
Pay close attention to how you’re breathing. You should be breathing in through your nose and exhaling through your mouth using a normal rhythm.
The idea when first starting is to exercise fast enough to get your heart rate up to 70% of it’s maximum. If you’re 30 years of age, you’d simply take the number 220 and subtract your age and then divide it by 70%. In this example, your target heart rate would be 133 bpm (beats per minute).
So, whatever your heart rate is starting out, the goal would be to exercise as hard and as fast until your heart rate reaches 133 bpm. This can take as little as 5 seconds and as long as 30 seconds depending on your current level of fitness.
Once you reach your target heart rate, you can slow down the exercise until your heart rate drops 30-40bpm. Take note of how long it takes for your heart rate to drop.
In this example, we’ll say it took one minute for your heart rate to drop 30-40bpm. Once your heart rate recovers you are now ready for round 2.
Do the same thing you did for round one except this time you will take your heart rate up to 80% of it’s maximum. In this case it would be 152bpm. Take note of how long it takes for your heart rate to get to 152bpm. Also, take note of how you are breathing. If your heart rate reaches 152bpm in say 15 seconds and you are able to sing a song during the exercise, then we will need to kick it up a notch for the next round.
On the other hand, if your heart rate reaches 152bpm and you are totally out of breath, then we accomplished our goal. Now, take note of how long it takes for your heart rate to drop 30-40bpm. Once again let’s say it took one minute.
If you were totally out of breath, or at least close to it at the 152bpm, then simply repeat what you did in round 2 by exercising hard and fast until your heart rate reaches 152bpm. Once again, take note of how long it took for your heart rate to reach 152bpm and then take note of how long it takes for your heart rate to drop 30-40bpm once you slow down. During the recovery phase you should be exercising much slower with minimal intensity while concentrating on your breathing. This is very important!
Now let’s say that you could sing a song after doing round 2 even though your heart rate got to 152bpm. In this case you would need to increase the intensity so that your heart rate reaches 90% of its maximum in round 3. In this case it would be 171bpm. Take note of how long it takes for your heart rate to reach 171bpm and take note of how you are breathing. If you are totally out of breath or close to it after 30 seconds of exercising as hard and as fast as you can, then we accomplished our goal.
If for some reason you feel the intensity was too much, simply decrease it to say 85% for round 4.
The next question I’m sure you’re thinking is how long do you do the HIIT workout for?
Every person is different and the time will change based on your level of fitness and as you progress. This is why it’s so important to monitor your heart rate taking note of how long it takes for you to reach your maximum workout pace and how long it takes for your heart rate to drop 30-40bpm during the recovery phase.
Let’s go over an example. Let’s say you did 5 rounds of HIIT and it took 30 seconds for your heart rate to reach 90% and it took one minute for you to recover. Then you went for round 6 and this time your heart rate got to 90% in 15 seconds and it took 90 seconds for your heart rate to recover. In this case your body is trying to tell you it’s time to cool down and stop for the day.
Basically, you need to go off how long it took for you to recover after doing your first round of HIIT working out at 90% and use that as your baseline number.
Do the same when it comes to starting the HIIT so you know how long it takes for your heart rate to reach it’s maximum.
You’ll know when your body is done when it takes a shorter amount of time to reach your maximum and/or it takes longer to recover when compared to your baseline numbers.
The more fit you are, the more rounds you will be able to handle. Starting out you might not be able to go more than 3-4 rounds which means about 1 ½ to 2 minutes of HIIT with a total exercise time of 4 ½ to 6 minutes.
As you get in better physical condition and your body progresses you will do longer. However, in any case you will never need to exceed more than 10 rounds of HIIT regardless of how physically fit you are.
Once you complete the HIIT workout, you simply cool down for approximately 5 minutes or however long it takes for your heart rate to drop within 10-20 beats before starting the exercise. For example, if your heart rate was 80bpm before warming up, then you could cool down until your heart rate reaches 100bpm. This is just an example, so go by how you feel.
You can even get off the machine and walk around for a few minutes until you totally recover.
Whatever you do never stop the exercise suddenly unless you feel faint, dizzy, have chest pain, or other physical issues because your arteries dilate during exercise and suddenly stopping the exercise could cause your blood pressure to suddenly drop and could result in dizziness or fainting. This is rare, but can happen in some people who are just starting to exercise. The more physically fit you become, the less you’ll have to worry about this as your arteries will respond faster once your body adapts and gets more physically fit.
Once again, every person is different, so you must pay close attention to how you feel during and after exercise. If you feel sick after exercise, then you will know you either were dehydrated prior to exercise, or maybe you ate something before exercise, or you overdid it. It could also be because you are so physically out of shape. If this is the case, your body will adapt after a week or so and you will start to feel good after your workouts.
In any case, never ever try to do what you see on some of these ridiculous TV shows where they practically kill these severely obese men and women pushing them beyond limits that are absolutely not necessary.
The body has a very sensitive mechanism in place and if you push things too fast and too hard at any time regardless of your level of fitness, your body will shut other mechanisms down in an effort to protect itself.
For example, your body would initially release more cortisol and then over time it could result in adrenal fatigue which could result in impaired thyroid function caused by high levels of reverse T3.
Any time your body is put under a significant amount of stress, whether it be physical or mental, it will increase reverse T3 levels. When this happens, it impairs the uptake of T3 into the cells and causes a variety of health issues which includes hindering your weight loss results.
Not only that, but your body adapts, and I don’t know anyone who can keep up that level of training over the course of their lifetime. They will either shut down their metabolism, get injured, get old, or whatever and when this happens they will surely gain back all the weight they lost and probably then some.
The goal here is to achieve your weight loss results with the least amount of effort it takes. There is no need to do more than is absolutely necessary. Your ultimate goal should be to achieve and maintain your weight loss results for the rest of your life and remain healthy without risking injury or causing your body more harm long term.
Also, keep in mind that achieving optimal weight loss results has more to do with diet than with exercise. Percentage wise its approximately 70-80% diet and approximately 20-30% exercise.
Of course the TV shows that practically kill people during their workouts would be pretty boring if they just showed people how to eat properly.
How often do you do the high intensity interval training HIIT?
You can do this type of cardio training every other day for best results and to prevent over-training. It would be 3 days per week one week, and then 4 days per week the following week, and so on. For optimal weight loss results, you can do any other type of cardio workout on your days off from HIIT. I recommend doing something with more duration at a steady pace with less intensity.
For example, a fast paced walk on a treadmill or stationary bike with your heart rate at a steady 70%-75% of your maximum bpm. Using the age calculated method with 30 years of age as an example would put your workout pace at 133bpm to 142bpm for 20-45 minutes max. If you’re in excellent physical condition it may be difficult to get your heart rate that high simply by walking a treadmill at a fast pace. In this case you’d increase the incline on the treadmill until you achieved your target heart rate. Same goes for a stationary bike in which case you’d increase the pedal resistance.
Also, if you’re gasping for air at 70%-75% of your workout pace, then you would lower the pace to 65%-70% and so on until you’re able to speak 7-10 words or so without having to inhale. You should not be totally out of breath while doing this type of cardio exercise since it’s meant to be aerobic, meaning with oxygen. Whereas the HIIT workouts are considered anaerobic, without oxygen.
Optimize your HIIT workouts and target stubborn body fat!
After you complete your HIIT workout run over and immediately hop on a treadmill or stationary bike and walk or peddle at a steady pace keeping your heart rate in the 65%-70% range. After the HIIT workout your body released a significant amount of fatty acids from stored fat and your human growth hormone levels have increased up to 400%. Not only that, but your insulin levels are low due to the HIIT workout.
You can take advantage of this entire fat burning combination by continuing to exercise, but at a lower intensity and at a steady pace for a minimum of 15 minutes or up to 45 minutes and in some cases you can double the fat loss in your problem areas. The more body fat you have to lose, the better results you will see!
In any case you need to keep in mind that HIIT training should only be done every other day at the most and at least 3 days per week if you want to see optimal weight loss results! This is very important!
This is one trick that very few people know about, including professionals, but after nearly 30 years of research and trying everything in the book, I know it works and it will stun your friends when they see how fast your trimming down!
One last thing. Massage coconut oil on all your problems areas to prevent sagging of skin and stretch marks as the weight comes off.