You probably know that exercise is important because it reduces your risk for many diseases and conditions. It also helps you burn fat and improves your physique and well being. However, you might be unaware of some of the best and most advanced training techniques that can help you efficiently reach your health and fitness goals. One of these techniques that can work wonders for you is high-intensity interval cardio training.
You can benefit from high-intensity interval cardio training if you’re a championship athlete or a novice fitness enthusiast. It’s a great option if you have a tight schedule and need an efficient workout. Interval cardio training will help you optimize your time at the gym.
How You Can Benefit from High-Intensity Interval Cardio Training
There’s no activity that burns fat as effectively and efficiently as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT increases your heart rate and metabolism. This allows you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time than you can with a moderate and consistently paced cardio training session. You’ll also continue to burn fat for up to 13 hours longer than you could after a lower-paced cardio workout. Because you only do short bursts of high-intensity activity, you’ll also avoid atrophy or muscle loss. Read this is you need to know How You Can Benefit from High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
How to Start High-Intensity Interval Cardio Training
You should always start your HIIT session with at least 5 minutes of warm-up. Then you can jump into the high-intensity portion of your workout. These high-intensity intervals will last for anywhere from 30-120 seconds. You should take it slow when you first start using interval cardio training. Begin with 4-5 minutes worth of intervals. For your first interval cardio training workout, try a 5-minute warm-up, followed by 5 minutes of 30-second intervals of high and low-intensity activity.
You Can Only Do HIIT For a Short Time
Most athletes never go beyond 20 minutes of activity with a true HIIT workout. Many people do low-intensity interval training for greater than 20 minutes an call it HIIT. Sadly, you are only fooling yourself into thinking you are doing HIIT. Fortunately, low-intensity interval training is a good cardio workout. You can get all the workout you need and boost your metabolism within 15 to 20 minutes with HIIT. If you continue training for more than 20 minutes, you’ll risk overtraining, atrophy, and injury.
Here is A HIIT Workout You Can Do With No Equipment In 5 Minutes
Mix Up Your HIIT Routine
Like with all exercises, it’s also important that you alternate your interval cardio training with other types of activity. For example, you could try weightlifting, walking, jogging, hiking, dancing, pilates, or yoga. So, don’t exceed 20-minute intervals and don’t perform interval cardio training for every cardio workout. You’ll get the best results when you repeat your workouts regularly but also vary your workouts. Check this out for some HIIT Training Examples and How You Get Lean Fast Using Them.
Why You Need Low-Intensity Intervals
The high-intensity periods of your interval cardio training are great for raising your heart rate. Afterward, you might even feel more energized. However, you need to alternate them with low-intensity intervals or total rest. When you drop to lower intensity cardio activity for a brief period during your interval cardio training, you can catch your breath and refuel your energy stores for another high-intensity session.
You must keep those low-intensity periods very brief, though — around 30-60 seconds. When you keep moving during these brief, low-paced intervals, you fool your metabolism. Your body doesn’t have a chance to realize that you’ve rested, so you continue to burn fat.
How to Perform Your High-Intensity Interval Cardio Training Workout
Interval cardio training is clearly a very optimal workout style. The best way to start your interval cardio training program is to begin at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes. Then increase the intensity on the cardio machine and go as hard and fast as you possibly can for 20 seconds. Then slow it back down for a minute or two. Your low-intensity intervals should last as long as you need so you can recover enough to perform another high-intensity interval. Dr. Niels Vollaard at the University of Stirling showed that you can achieve most of the benefits of HIIT with only two 20 second periods of all-out exercise interspersed in a 10 minutes interval cardio training session (1).
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Another easy way to introduce yourself to this type of cardio workout without overdoing it is simply to keep changing your speed and intensity level every 2 minutes or so. Increase and then decrease your speed. Challenge yourself! This will trick your body into burning more calories than it would if you were performing cardio at a steady pace.
Best Equipment for Your Cardio Workout
You can use any cardio machine for your interval cardio training, but the elliptical trainer is one of the best. You can use an elliptical trainer no matter your fitness level. It will provide you with a high-intensity cardiovascular workout with less impact than running or other types of cardio activities. You’ll also have a lower risk of injury to your hips, knees, shins, and lower back. With a stair climber or treadmill, you get an up-and-down pressing motion. On the elliptical trainer, though, your feet and legs travel in an oval (elliptical) pattern, and your feet never leave the pedals. Even though elliptical trainers are low-impact, they’re still considered a weight-bearing exercise and provide all the benefits associated with resistance exercises. By using the elliptical trainer, you’ll reduce your risk for osteoporosis and several other chronic diseases and conditions.
Use Interval Cardio Training to Burn Fat
If your goal is to burn fat, then you should incorporate interval cardio training into your workout schedule. It’s a great way to fire up your fitness program. Interval cardio training will help you burn more fat than a standard steady-state cardio workout. That’s because the high-intensity periods constantly challenge your body and increase your metabolism to a higher level than a standard cardio training workout could. This will help your body burn more calories.
Remember that interval cardio training is intense, so you shouldn’t do it for every cardio session. Otherwise, you might risk overtraining. However, by incorporating interval cardio training into every few workouts, you can avoid overtraining, save time, remain safe, and burn fat faster in a smart way!
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