High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are an excellent way to burn calories, build lean muscle and get a fitter and healthier body, without having to spend hours in the gym. HIIT training uses short bouts of high-intensity exercise alternated with short rest periods to maximize calorie burn and cardiovascular fitness in half the time as compared to low-intensity steady state cardio. In simple words, HIIT helps you get fitter, faster! With HIIT, you are able to combine your strength training and cardio workouts at the same, which is one of the reasons HIIT is so popular.
How to start with HIIT:
Start with 45 seconds of work, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Repeat eight to ten sets with a one- to two-minute rest period between sets. And, do not forget to perform a two to three-minute warm-up before working out.
A Typical 15 minutes HIIT Workout for Beginners:
First perform 5 to 10 minutes of slow jogging to raise heart and breathing rate. You can also jog in place.
Once you feel warmed up, perform 12 to 16 reps of dynamic stretches such as Standing crisscross crunches, Inchworms, Side lunges, High kicks, Leg swings – front to back, and Squats.
Complete the following set five times, resting one minute between each set:
– 10 Push Ups
– 20 Jumping jacks
– 10 Burpees
After 2 weeks you can increase your workout to 20 minutes, by adding 20 Alternating Lunges to the set.
The basic principle of Intermittent Fasting is to allow the body to burn off excess body fat – when you don’t eat, your body will simply “eat” its own fat for energy. When we eat more food than can immediately be used, some of this food energy must be stored away for later use. Insulin is the key hormone involved in the storage of excess food energy.
Insulin levels rise when we eat, helping to store the excess energy by converting sugars into glycogen which is then stored in the liver. There is, however, limited storage space; and once that is reached, the liver starts to turn the excess glycogen into fat. While some of this newly created fat is stored in the liver, most of it is sent to other fat deposits in the body.
In case of Intermittent Fasting, this process goes in reverse order, when we do not eat. Insulin levels fall, which signals the body to start burning stored energy as no more is available through the food source. Blood glucose falls, so the body must now utilize glucose from the storage, to burn for energy. Glycogen, being the most easily accessible energy source, is broken down into glucose molecules to provide energy for the other cells. This can provide enough energy to power the body for 24-36 hours. After that, the body will start breaking down fat for energy.
Different Types of Intermittent Fasting:
Shorter Fasts (less than 24 hours):
16-8: It involves daily fasting for 16 hours, where you eat all your meals within an 8-hour time period and fast for the remaining 16 hours.
20-4: Here you eat all your meals within a 4-hour time period and fast for the remaining 20 hours.
Longer Fasts (greater than 24 hours)
24-hour fasts: Here you fast from dinner to dinner (or lunch to lunch).
36-hour fasts: Here, if you eat dinner on day 1, you have to fast for all of day 2 and not eat again until breakfast on day 3.
5:2 fast:This involves 5 regular eating days and 2 fasting days. However, on these two fasting days, it is permitted to eat 500 calories on each day, and these calories can be consumed at any time during the day – either spread throughout the day, or as a single meal.
This is best suited for combining HIIT with Intermittent Fasting. You perform HIIT on weekdays and Intermittent fasting on weekends.
Disclaimer: The above is for information purpose only. Consult your doctor and dietician before trying this out, especially if you are suffering from health conditions like diabetes and hypertension.