Exercise is NOT a luxury. It is a necessity. It is as necessary for me as brushing my teeth, maintaining my vehicle, paying my electricity bill, etc. Without exercise, I would have unhealthy cholesterol levels, reduced mental clarity and physical energy, and I would be veryuncomfortable in business attire. Any lowered amount of productivity will eventually cost me financially, too. I can’t afford any of that! I want to feel alive and strong! However, what couldbe considered a luxury for many of us is the 2+ hour workout. A long workout is something I consider a leisure activity. I would reserve that for a vacation or a relaxing weekend. I am grateful when I do have that extra time.
Fortunately, you can get the same—or even better—results from a high-intensity workout in under 45 minutes. Many people refer to this type of exercise as HIIT (high-intensity interval training). The way we define high-intensity here is a heart rate nearyour theoretical maximum heart rate (90% or more). To calculate your 100% heart rate, you subtract your age from 220. So, for a 40-year-old, the 100% heart rate is 220 – 40 = 180 beats per minute (bpm). This 40-year-old should get the heart rate to 90-100% of 180bpm, or between 162 and 180bpm, during HIIT. The recovery heart rate should go no lower than 60%, or 108bpm for this person. A certified personal trainer can help you with programming the interval lengths, ratios, and other variables.
No one can maintain maximal effort for an extended period, so the recovery period is an important part of HIIT. Regardless of fitness level, we all have our 100% effort. An elite athlete’s maximal effort and a beginner’s maximal effort impress me equally. They both must work equally hard. I remind clients of Gold’s Burn class that HIIT is “the great equalizer” (Gold’s Burn is a high-intensity interval training program offered at Gold’s Gym). We all begin the class at different fitness levels and finish equally worked, sweaty, and exhausted.
HIIT can be part of almost anyone’s fitness regimen. While most of us may not be able to endure 5 or more HIIT sessions per week over the long term, we can greatly benefit from 2 to 4 sessions per week indefinitely. Some of the other benefits of HIIT are efficient workouts and more calories burned both during a workout and at rest.
HIIT can make your workouts efficient. You get more done in less time. The analogy I use to describe it is that some people might enjoy working 2 hours to make $200. But I’m happy to work 1 hour to make $150, then spend the second hour being productive in another way.
High-intensity exercise will burn more calories, too. Exercising near your 100% effort burns a lot of energy. But in addition to that, HIIT will burn energy for hours after your workout ends while your body is normalizing and recovering.
For your next New Year’s Resolution, consider making HIIT part of your exercise regimen. Stop saying you don’t have enough time. Make time and save time using shorter workouts. We at Gold’s Burn will even program everything for you so that you don’t have to worry about all those numbers I threw at you above. As always, consult a physician before beginning any exercise routine. For now, enjoy your time with loved ones! Happy Holidays from all of us at Gold’s Gym.
VitaStack is a performance multi-vitamin/multimineral. It is specifically designed for anyone that routinely trains hard. It enhances performance by helping with muscle recovery, proper hydration and electrolytes, joint repair and mobility, energy, heart health, and metabolism. Take with any meal to maximize absorption.