I was used to running for an hour, going on long bike rides (usually 1 1/2 – 2 hours) or being at the gym on the elliptical or spinning class. You mean to tell me that I could be burning just as much or more fat working out for only 20 minutes? No way.
I’m about to tell you how I reached my optimal weight losing 20 pounds in 3 months after trying desperately for 4 years with no luck.
People are frustrated. They are doing the best they can with the knowledge they have. Even after I took the time to learn what high intensity interval training is, being a creature of habit, it was still tough to believe it. Here is what did it for me. I got married. Ta da! End of story… No really, I became much busier! I didn’t WANT to run or ride my bike or go to the gym for 2 hours anymore. So I wasn’t exercising as often. But did my eating habits go down? Nope. Before I learned what I know now about proper eating, I still ate the same. In fact, I ate worse. Those darn marriages. So guess what happened? Yep, that right. I gained weight. In my first year, it was 10 pounds. I noticed right away. Oops! I better started working out more. So I amped up my running and biking a little. Eating habits stayed the same. Second year, I was up 20 pounds. I’m in freak out mode.
In the first year, when I gained those first 10 pounds, I started doing more research and learned about high intensity interval training. I tried a few of the workouts and it just didn’t feel like it was working. I was used to relying on my trusty heart rate monitor telling me how many calories I burned. If I didn’t see the numbers on my wrist, I wasn’t buying it. Well, that was my brain talking, not my body. So I would keep going back to my endurance workouts thinking that if I increased the intensity of those, then I would be rocking. Little did I know that by doing that, I was depleting my glucose levels to the point I was burning muscle, not fat. I still wasn’t losing any weight.
moderate/endurance cardio vs. high intensity interval training
In March of 2012, I decided to do it. Was I desperate? For being someone who has been lean my whole life (I’m in my 40′s now), yep. If you have done enough research online, you will find there are two different type of exercises:
1. The “moderate cardio” ones are those that will be relatively intense but can go for 30 -45 minutes. You know who those are….P90X, The Firm, Beachbody workouts, aerobics classes, spinning classes, etc. Those are fine…until you get burned out. That’s why I do those only once a week, on my free cardio days.
2. Then there are those that are in impeccable shape that do high intensity interval training workouts for only 20 minutes two or three days a week. Those people were in great shape! Not only were they lean, they were toned! I decided to follow a few trainers. I found three main things they have in common: 1) high intensity interval training cardio workouts, 2) weight-bearing exercises utilizing compound movements in a circuit format, and last but not least… 3) an easy to follow no-nonsense eating plan.
Okay, are you ready for the science behind high intensity interval training?
let’s take a look at one of the most popular case studies outlining the positive effect of high intensity interval training, which is part of the foundation of my workouts:
Case Study: “Tabata”
A study comparing the effects of high intensity interval training vs. the effects of traditional moderate intensity steady cardio training in elite athletes was conducted by famed Japanese scientist, Dr. Tabata. After just 6 weeks of testing the two groups, the results were astounding.
The group which performed a very short, very high intensity interval training (7 – 8 sets of 20 seconds of exercise performed at 170% of VO2max with 10 seconds of rest between each bout with a total duration of 4 minutes per session) showed a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity along with a 14% increase in V02Max.
The group that followed the moderate intensity steady cardio training for a duration of 60 minutes per session showed no improvement in anaerobic capacity and showed some improvement in the VO2max — but still less than the first group! This study proves that aerobic and anaerobic capacities can both be conditioned and improved at the same time — using high intensity interval training protocols.
Let me ask you – if you can workout for an hour, do you really think you’re working at a high intensity? You see, if you’re able to workout longer than 15-20 minutes on your main set – you are most definitely NOT working out at high intensity. No way, no how. If there’s one major point I want you learn from this article, it’s this: fitness is intensity dependent, not time dependent.
Now, taking the high intensity interval training concept to a whole new level and redefined intensity (along with good music) by combining it with strength training performed in a circuit format and a good eating plan….the results are nothing short of amazing. When it comes to producing power, building lean mass, and melting away fat, you simply cannot fail.
Bookmark this site (or subscribe to our newsletter below)! I will be sharing my exact high intensity interval training workouts as well as my customized eating plan (that is so simple) that has contributed to me losing 20 pounds of fat in 3 months. Also, click here to see my live daily food log.
Are you wonding how to do high intensity interval training and for how long? Click HERE to find out.
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