High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a method that features short bursts of maximum effort followed by quick recovery periods, as opposed to a sustained cardio workout – and my BMAX workout is an example of this. It's the fastest way to lose weight and build lean muscle, making it a great program to begin before all the indulgences of the holiday season.
Here are three things you need to know to make HIIT work for you.
1. Push yourself – and then recover
HIIT works by activating both your aerobic and anaerobic systems. During an aerobic workout like a long jog, oxygen provides energy to your body to allow you to sustain the movement. But when you push yourself to the max in a short period of time (think about doing sprints) your body demands energy faster than you can take in additional oxygen, which is why you get out of breath. The body copes by switching from aerobic to anaerobic mode, which uses stored carbs for energy instead. This effectively and efficiently burns calories.
2. Don't give yourself too much recovery time
The recovery is one factor that sets HIIT training apart from other forms of interval or circuit training, which typically include more time between intervals. For the greatest results, it's best to prevent the body from recovering completely, keeping the heart rate high for the duration of the workout and therefore increasing the calorie burn. For example, in normal circuit or interval training, a runner may sprint and then stop completely. In HIIT, however, you move at a moderate pace during recovery, continuing the movement or doing something like a light jog or jump rope. Be sure to begin gradually by doing shorter anaerobic intervals, followed by longer recovery intervals. Then as you become more comfortable, increase and decrease the intervals, respectively.
3. Take rest days
HIIT involves some risk. It is an intense experience that should not be done every day, so be sure to give yourself at least one day between workouts. This is exactly the design and organization of my BMAX program.
Now, if you're ready, I'm ready, so PREPARE TO ACTIVATE!