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Last week’s FPOW on “Cheap Intensity” addressed the dangers of high intensity workouts that are not programmed intelligently. This week, we will discuss safe and effective ways to achieve high intensity training.

Whether your goal is weight loss or improved fitness, metabolic resistance training can provide the “most bang for your buck”. Metabolic resistance training utilizes many traditional resistance training modalities but adds the element of limited rest periods. There’s a reason it is at the top of the Hierarchy of Fat Loss. This style of training not only increases calorie burn, but also promotes muscle hypertrophy (growth). Plus, metabolic resistance training boosts EPOC, allowing you to burn extra calories even hours after your workout! At One on One, metabolic resistance training is a hallmark of our personal fitness sessions, as well as our small and large group classes.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

One specific type of metabolic resistance training is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT training is the most effective, time-efficient protocol for improving your fitness. A HIIT program consists of high intensity exercise followed by a rest interval. This work-to-rest ratio is the most important component of HIIT, and is determined by your work capacity. The high intensity work should range from 80-100% maximum exertion and can last anywhere from 6 seconds to 4 minutes. The rest period may consist of passive recovery (very little movement / light stretching) or active recovery (bodyweight exercises).

HIIT training is beneficial because it boosts EPOC and is highly versatile meaning you can get high intensity anytime, anywhere. The key to effective HIIT is to use intelligent programming and avoid cheap intensity. If you’re looking to get a great workout in a short amount of time, HIIT is your go-to!

Practical Applications

High intensity workouts are the most effective method for boosting EPOC. When training, push yourself to the point of feeling fatigued and out of breath, but make sure that you still feel good when you leave the gym.

Keep in mind the following strategies for safe and effective workouts at high intensities.

  • Optimize your endurance training: Regularly incorporate different intervals into your routine to keep your body guessing and the intensity up.
  • Incorporate a high intensity “finisher” at the end of your strength training: Timed tabatas, complexes, and sprints are a great way to finish your strength training routine.
  • Take care of your body: In order to exercise with intensity, your body must be rested and well nourished. Be intelligent with your pre/post workout nutritionmovement prep, and recovery and regeneration.

High intensity metabolic resistance training can provide the most bang for your exercise buck. This training can help you accomplish in 30 minutes what you might otherwise have accomplished in 60 minutes of steady state exercise—talk about efficiency! While steady state exercise (jogging, cycling, etc.) has many benefits, you just can’t beat high intensity metabolic resistance training when it comes to time-efficiency and effectiveness!