Turbo-Charge Your Weight Loss With HIIT

Back in June of this year I wrote an article for Guestdietblog.com about nutrition as it relates to riding a bike. In this article I’d like to speak of an exercising style that serves to increase the effectiveness of exercise when done in tandem with the healthy eating habits written of in Guestdietblog.com.

I’m referring to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

The Fitness World Is Catching Up To The Olympians

HIIT has been in the fitness arsenal of Olympic-level athletes for decades. Whether it’s long distance runners, swimmers, or cyclists, ‘intervals’ have played a key role in just about every Olympic champion’s preparation.

Now the fitness world has jumped on board and everyday people are losing weight more quickly, while not having to spend as much time on their bikes or in their running shoes. In short, HIIT is a fitness tool that just about anyone can benefit from.

But What is HIIT?

Unlike cardio exercise, in which the workout is done at a sustainable, steady intensity, HIIT workouts feature variations in intensity. Someone doing a cardio workout selects an intensity level at which they’re able to process enough oxygen to supply their muscles in ‘real time’. There is no having to ‘catch up’ in the oxygen department. This is called aerobic exercise.

HIIT training alternates periods of intensity at which the muscles go into ‘oxygen debt’ with times of easier exercise during which the heart and lungs can catch up and get adequate oxygen to the muscle. During the hard intensities, the muscles are working harder than the oxygen can be supplied, which is called anaerobic exercise.

Here’s What’s In It For You

The ‘magic’ in HIIT is in what happens once the workout is complete. Unlike after cardio workouts, a person’s metabolism can remain elevated for hours following ‘intervals’. This means that when you’re sitting on the couch watching your favorite Home and Garden or Reality TV show, you’re still burning fat.

That’s right, your internal furnace is still smoldering along far past the end of your workout, and that furnace burns body fat!

Give Me An Example, Please!

High Intensity Interval Training can be best understood by looking at a sample workout.

But before we do, let me emphasize that because HIIT is more intense than casual exercise, your need to get a doctor’s clearance before initiating this type of activity is more apropos than ever.

I do this workout on a Kinetic Road Machine Trainer, but there are a lot of indoor cycling trainers like the CycleOps Fluid 2 bicycle trainer that will fit the bill.

Sample HIIT workout-

  • Ten minutes easy warm-up.
  • One minute of hard effort, followed by one minute of easy effort.
  • Two minutes of hard effort, followed by two minutes of easy effort.
  • Three minutes of hard effort, followed by three minutes of easy effort.
  • Four minutes of hard effort, followed by three minutes of easy effort.
  • Three minutes of hard effort, followed by two minutes of easy effort.
  • Two minutes of hard effort, followed by one minute of easy effort.
  • One minute of hard effort.
  • Ten minutes of easy warm-down.

Make Efficient Use Of Your Exercise Time

So if you’re like most people who’re constantly on the watch for ways in which to save time and be more efficient, consider incorporating one or two High Intensity Interval Workouts into your fitness week.

You’ll no doubt welcome the variety, and you’ll achieve much more weight loss than if you stay strictly with a steady-state form of exercise.

About the author: Dr. Ron Fritzke reviews cycling gear on his site, Cycling-Review.com. Besides his private Chiropractic practice, he’s on the Sports Medicine team at the College of the Siskiyous. A former 2:17 marathon runner, he now races his bike in Northern California.

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6 Responses to Turbo-Charge Your Weight Loss With HIIT

  1. CHLTX says:

    Have you seen Fred Hahn’s Slow-Burn book? ( http://slowburnfitness.com/ ) I’d like to see what you think of that vs. HIIT.

  2. Ron Fritzke says:

    Hi CHLTX,
    I haven’t been exposed to Fred’s program previously. I went to the website and the first thing I noticed is how often the first person is used… ‘my gym’, ‘my books’, ‘my blog’, ‘my other books’. That’s ‘my first impression’. 🙂

    I think it would be best to read through the reviews here.

    Being a hardcore cardiovascular competitor, I’m suspicious of what some readers are reporting is touted in the book…

    Here’s what Secret Santa says, “The most striking claims, that your heart isn’t strengthened or made more efficient through aerobic exercise and that stretching (as in yoga) doesn’t increase flexibility, are not substantiated in any way. The heart, a muscle, does not, we are to believe, respond to additional stresses created during aerobic exercise.”

    If it’s true that Fred is claiming that the heart isn’t made more effective through cardiovascular training…he stands alone.

    If you’d like a few citations regarding the usefulness of HIIT, go to this Wikipedia article.

    If you’d like to read all of the studies related to aerobic exercise and heart efficiency, you can get a start here.

    To reiterate, I haven’t been exposed to Fred’s program until you drew my attention to it. It’s not something I’m interested in. My style is to get on my bike and ‘pedal til I puke’.

    Thanks for the comment,

    • jeannette says:

      Hi Ron,
      I don’t really have to lose weight I just want to build muscles. Will HIT help me achieve that?



      • Ron Fritzke says:

        I’m haven’t seen any studies regarding building lean muscle mass using HIIT, but I know that there is a significant amount of resistance when you’re working very hard at your chosen type of exercise.

        A general principle is that your body will respond to an increased workload by making itself stronger.

        I did see one athletic trainer touting HIIT as a means to getting a large metabolic response without the breaking down of muscle mass that occurs when exercising at high intensities for longer periods of time. It’s the breaking down and rebuilding of muscle mass that increases strength.

        Just some thoughts…


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  4. Ben says:

    Nice post, it’s a very important thing to do to make you healthy, both physically and mentality.. I do always advice my depression patients to take exercises regularly.. I also wrote this on my journal at:

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