We all know summer bodies are made in Winter, but what is the best way to make that happen?
The good news is you don’t need to be spending hours at a time in the gym. 30-45mins of the right type of training is not only as effective, but more beneficial than a long workout for burning fat fast.
With Qmax Winter program just around the corner, it’s a great time to look closer at the benefits of HIIT training.
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT as its commonly known has been repeatedly proven to outperform long slow cardio for burning calories and building lean muscle but what is it and how does it work?
What is it?
HIIT training involves short intense intervals of “work” usually (40-45secs) designed to spike your heart rate, mixed with even shorter periods of “rest” (15secs) where the aim is to bring your heart rate down as low as possible.
How does it work?
It’s important that both extremes are met for the concept to work effectively. The work interval needs to elevate your heart rate to approximately 80% of your max. The best way to do this in a short period of time is to choose an exercise combing a strength and cardio element and also one that is compound, meaning it uses multiple muscles at once. On the flip side, we need to be very mindful of our breathing during the rest phase, to try and lower the heart rate back down again.
What are the benefits?
Our bodies are in a constant state of survival meaning that they are always looking for the most efficient way to move to conserve energy. This is great if you’re very stuck in the desert but not when you are looking to burn calories and gain strength.
In general, this means that our bodies will adapt to things like long slow cardio very quickly because of the repetitive nature. Our brains catch on to what we are doing and find a way to “steady state” and start saving energy.
A simple way to think of it is that we need to trick your body into not being able to find a steady heart rhythm to increase your calorie burn. This lack of steady state also means that your body continues to work even after your session is complete, especially if we look to incorporate a strength component.
Can I still HIIT if I’m not that fit?
Of course you can!! The beauty of HIIT training is that it’s 80% of YOUR max. Regardless of whether you complete 5 or 50 reps in an interval is irrelevant as long as you’re working in the right zone.
HIIT and Miss
Remember that HIIT only works when you push yourself to reach those spikes. If you cruise through a Qmax class or fly under the radar by keeping energy in the bank, you are not going to be in the right zone and essentially doing traditional cardio training. It’s always best to follow a well-designed program or class and have an instructor that is going to monitor both your work and rest intervals and get you the results you’re chasing. A heart rate monitor can also be a great tool to ensure accuracy and keep you motivated by analysing and tracking your workouts.
If you’re trying HIIT for the first time your body will have a great response with fat loss and lean muscle gain. Be sure to check out a Qmax class or talk with one of our skilled Personal Trainers to get you off to a safe and effective start.
Regional Fitness Manager
Qmax Winter Programming Starts this Monday 5th June across all Qmax clubs with revamped timetables and exercises. Be sure to check out www.qmax.com.au for all the action and book your class by searching “Qmax” on the MindBody App.