The Answer to Losing the Last 10 Pounds: High Intensity Interval Training
It’s one of the most common fitness hurdles that women have trouble leaping over: the final 10 pounds of weight loss. Extremely frustrating, the last 10 pounds of weight you intend to lose will always give you the most trouble. As a woman, your body is programmed to cling desperately to body fat. This has everything to do with needing that body fat for having children. Unfortunately, your genetic programming didn’t take into consideration that you need to look amazing in a bikini. With that said, there is one amazing exercise technique that has been scientifically proven to be one of the best ways to blast body fat away. It’s safe, it’s effective, and you can do it anywhere.
Introducing High Intensity Interval Training. Let’s take a look at what H.I.I.T. is and how you can use it to achieve your fitness goals.
What is H.I.I.T.?
As I’ll discuss more about below, High Intensity Interval Training or H.I.I.T. is one of the best ways to simultaneously improve strength while incinerating body fat and promoting lean muscle mass gains. H.I.I.T. is a highly effective method of strength and cardiovascular exercise. As the name suggests, H.I.I.T. focuses on exercises that are high in intensity yet easy to perform. Volume, or weight, is not needed as the intensity is so high. One of the best features of H.I.I.T. that sets it apart from other forms of training is that it is extremely time efficient. A basic H.I.I.T. workout will only take 10 to 15 minutes to complete!
High Intensity vs Low Intensity
The traditional thought of low intensity, long duration exercise can be seen throughout every gym in America: Lines of treadmills and exercise bikes and people moving at a slow and steady pace for about an hour. People still think that it’s best to hop on a treadmill, set it at a comfortable pace, and walk for an hour each and every day. While this may be an acceptable way to exercise if you are recovering from an injury, have severe medical weight issues, or are being more cautious at an older age, for the majority of people, low intensity, long duration exercise is inconvenient and ineffective. Research shows the superiority of high intensity, short duration exercise against its predecessor in muscle building and fat loss.
Why is H.I.I.T. so effective? High intensity training activates two different kinds of energy pathways. There is the anaerobic system and there is the aerobic system.
Anaerobic energy is for fast, power-focused movements. For example, if you are sprinting on a track and field, your body will use the anaerobic energy system. The aerobic energy system, on the other hand, is for long duration exercise. Take the same person from the example above and imagine they are running a 10 kilometer race. That person’s body would be primarily using the aerobic energy pathway. High Intensity Interval Training has been shown in research studies to activate both types of energy pathways while low intensity, long duration training only activates the aerobic system.
Put simply, by utilizing both energy systems, your body is able to burn more fat, expend more calories, and trigger greater increases in strength and muscle.
Benefits of H.I.I.T.
The benefits of High Intensity Interval Training become immediately apparent once you try it. The key to the success of H.I.I.T. has everything to do with the variety of movement. A specific combination of exercises takes your body through all planes of movement at different intensity levels. In other words, your body is kept guessing for the entire workout.
One study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism demonstrated how effective High Intensity Interval Training was at burning more fat and supporting more lean tissue growth when compared with Low Intensity Long Duration training. One of the highlights of the study showed the increased metabolic profile for subjects who performed H.I.I.T. on a regular basis. These people saw an extended caloric burning period when compared with those who relied on low intensity training. In other words, their bodies kept burning calories and fat at a higher rate for hours after their workout!
Breakdown of a H.I.I.T. Workout
You’re convinced and ready to jump into action so let’s breakdown how a basic High Intensity Interval Training workout is set up.
H.I.I.T. workouts are made up of circuits. One circuit will contain between 4 and 10 exercises. The most common form of exercise in a H.I.I.T. circuit is bodyweight based. Once you have your list, you perform each exercise once then move on to the next one with no rest in between. It is only after you’ve completed each exercise one time that you’re able to take that much needed break. Rest up for between 1 and 3 minutes before you begin the entire list again. Repeat the circuit at least once, gradually moving up to 4, 5, or even 6 times!
How You Can Incorporate H.I.I.T. into Your Day
Since a H.I.I.T. circuit will only take you 10 minutes or less, it is best to schedule it for a time when you won’t have anything else bothering you. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual and do it before the kids get up. Bring a pair of gym clothes to work and spend 10 minutes of your lunch outside. A H.I.I.T. workout can be done anywhere. You just need to find 10 minutes to do it!
The following is a terrific sample workout for beginners. It’s very easy and uses the most basic yet effective exercises. Remember, perform the first exercise all the way through then move right on to the second one. Repeat this rapid fire fashion until you have completed all of the exercises.
· Burpees: 5
· Bodyweight Squats: 25
· Pull-ups: 5
· Side Lunges: 25
· (Knee) Push-ups: 15
· Jump Squats: 15
· Rest period: 1 to 3 minutes
· Repeat: At least once
Losing those last 10 pounds doesn’t have to be a battle that takes weeks or months. If you’ve been struggling to blast away the last of your weight loss, then look to High Intensity Interval Training to ensure you reach your goal. Proven by scientific studies to result in a higher level of weight loss and muscle building, a H.I.I.T. workout is amazingly effective and time efficient. There’s no reason to wait any longer. Give H.I.I.T. a try and let us know about the results!
1. Perry CG, Heigenhauser GJ, Bonen A, Spriet LL. High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Dec;33(6):1112-23.
A beard, a flannel shirt, and high levels of testosterone are just a few things that define a man. It’s high testosterone levels that separate the bros from the boys. If you’re lagging in the T-department, then try these weird ways to naturally boost your testosterone levels.
BE LIKE ROCKY
Eggs are the perfect food. They are highly bio-available, scoring 100 out of 100 on the traditional BV scale. One egg provides 6 to 7 grams of completely usable protein as well as zinc. Zinc has been shown in various studies to boost testosterone.
Eggs also contain cholesterol. Before you start quoting something you heard on Dr. Oz, listen up: Cholesterol is not the monster that it’s been made out to be. Cholesterol is the magic ingredient for the body to produce steroid hormones with an emphasis on testosterone. A study published in the Asian Journal of Andrology demonstrates how higher levels of HDL (good cholesterol) correlate with higher levels of testosterone.
HIT UP THE SAUNA
This one is sure to raise some eyebrows. All you do in a sauna is sit. You’re not lifting weights. You aren’t eating any type of specialized herbal remedy. You’re in a hot room, sweating like crazy, and that’s it. Believe it or not, this ancient remedy has been shown in numerous studies, to naturally increase your levels of growth hormone. The high levels of heat in a sauna activate a greater number of heat stress proteins. These specialized proteins then trigger an increase in your growth hormones, which support muscle building and fat loss.
Start out with one 10 to 15 minute sauna session and gradually build up your tolerance by increasing the time frame.
BECOME FRIENDS WITH BROCCOLI
Think back to all of those years that your mom forced you to eat those bland pieces of rabbit food. Turns out, she may have been on to something. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale contain a compound called Diindolylmethane. DIM has gained popularity in the medical field for offering a high level of anti-oxidants. In the bodybuilding world, DIM helps to protect and increase your testosterone levels.
A study published in Thyroid demonstrates how DIM supports a higher level of estrogen metabolism. By ridding your body of harmful estrogens, you allow for the release and consequential increase of free testosterone levels. Eat dark leafy greens raw (just like your eggs). If you can’t stomach vegetables, then purchase DIM as a supplement. Just be sure to avoid any brand that uses soy as that will defeat the purpose.
Testosterone is important for building muscle, staying thin, and feeling great. Despite what supplement industry marketing has rammed down your throat, you don’t need to spend a lot of cash to boost it. Drink and eat raw while you (begrudgingly) watch your favorite porn for that natural spike in T-levels.
1. Netter A, Hartoma R, Nahoul K. Effect of zinc administration on plasma testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, and sperm count. Arch Androl. 1981 Aug;7(1):69-73.
2. Stephanie T., Beth A. Mohr, Carol L., Amy B. O’Donnell , William J. Bremner, John B. McKinlay. Higher testosterone levels are associated with increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol in men with cardiovascular disease: results from the Massachusetts Male Aging Study. Asian J Androl 2008; 10 (2): 193–200.
3. Leppäluoto J, Huttunen P, Hirvonen J, Väänänen A, Tuominen M, Vuori J. Endocrine effects of repeated sauna bathing. Acta Physiol Scand. 1986 Nov;128(3):467-70.
4. Rajoria S, Suriano R, Parmar PS, Wilson YL, Megwalu U, Moscatello A, Bradlow HL, Sepkovic DW, Geliebter J, Schantz SP, Tiwari RK. 3,3′-diindolylmethane modulates estrogen metabolism in patients with thyroid proliferative disease: a pilot study. Thyroid. 2011 Mar;21(3):299-304.
There’s only so much willpower to go around, right? Life moves one day at a time and along with our physical training goals, there’s all kinds of other priorities and responsibilities that demand their share. In this article we’re going to go over 6 easy ways to help you get the most out of your fitness-willpower. Enjoy!
#1: Embrace Morning Exercise
Add this to the already long list of reasons to get your workouts in early. But here’s the deal, most recent studies on the subject of willpower claim that it’s at its brightest early on in the day before being thinned out by everything else!
It doesn’t have to be a hardcore workout, just enough to super-charge your metabolism and pump your brain full of positive and productive neurochemicals. Through the application of power and intensity, you can achieve this in 5 minutes. Boom, taken care of. And, you can still workout in the afternoon or evening.
#2: Get a Couple Small Successes Early
Then there’s this: getting in the early morning workout is a win! It’s a success! You did it! And that’s a great way to start the day. It means you’ll be more likely to regulate eating for the rest of the day and make good choices that build on this early win.
#3: Transform “Resist” into “Avoid”
What you resist, persists. But avoidance is something different altogether. To demonstrate this, take a look at these two sentences. Which would be more effective if you wanted to avoid that slice of cheesecake?
“I can’t have that.”
“I’d just prefer something else is all.”
Try it in your mind. Pick something, anything that could set you back in terms of your fitness goals. Now try both of those sentences. One makes you feel like you HAVE to have it, while the other completely releases you without adding to temptation or really drawing from your willpower at all, right?
#4: Minimize “Screw It!” Moments
Okay, so you manage to avoid the cheesecake but your date doesn’t. In fact, they get the cheesecake with extra chocolate drizzle and whip cream. You take a bite, then another nibble, then “Screw It! I want my own piece.”
If you can make it a habit to stay one step ahead of these moments, they’ll happen far less often. In terms of food in this example, just recite that second sentence in your head, gulp down that glass of water you didn’t touch and hope they eat it really quickly.
#5: Subdue Small Things to Build Self-Control
Winning a body building competition is somewhat intimidating. Getting to really low body fat percentages is too! Same thing goes for hefty weight gain and strength building goals. Master the small things first as they’ll add to the amount of fitness-willpower you can apply to the big stuff. Here’s a couple easy examples:
#6: Lessen the Willpower Load
Having a workout buddy, hiring a personal trainer or using fitness apps and things are ways to basically outsource your willpower load. Take advantage of them! Listen, willpower is a big part of fitness…huge! What do you do to maintain it, strengthen it, and gain an edge? We’d love to know.