So, I started doing a thing at the gym…and it’s a thing I long vowed to never do.
I don’t know why…
Needed a change? Certainly.
Got roped into it? Maybe? LOL
Cool kids were doing it? You bet your ass they were.
I was having pretty good results from my regular 3-4 days a week strength training workouts: strength was steadily increasing, body was changing, and muscles were happening but I found myself longing for the day when Jenny changed up our program. That, and I was becoming complacent with my diet, and my intensity was waning.
Enter Build & Burn, a 4 day a week HIIT w/Strength Training class.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It’s an exercise program consisting of a warm up followed by several repetitions of high intensity exercise separated by medium intensity exercise for recovery and then followed by a cool down. HIIT workouts can last up to 30 minutes but typically are shorter. And as the name suggests, it’s high intensity.
And I’ve got to admit, I was a hard core NO on it…at least at first. Because: Change. Because: Hard Work.
But you know what? Change is what started this whole fitness transformation for me anyways. And despite my flagging intensity, I’m no stranger to hard work. So, I decided to stick around after a workout to see what it was all about.
About half an hour into the HIIT class I was swimming in a veritable lake of me. The sweat was real! Matter of fact, I don’t think I had sweated that hard ever in the gym because despite all the weights I had been lifting I wasn’t really taxing my body – at least, not in this particular way. With strength training, I was able to take some time between sets and cool off. With HIIT, you don’t really cool down until you’re half way home.
What I didn’t understand then are all the things is intensity is good for… and when I say it’s good for a lot , I mean A LOT!
So, why HIIT?
HIIT directly and immediately improves:
- Cardiovascular Health
- Cardio-respiratory Health
- Body Composition
- Weight Loss
- Insulin Resistance
- Fat Oxidization
- Brain Power
And while strength training alone can help with all of those, the effects are cumulative in the long term; however, the benefits of HIIT are immediate.
So, I came back for the next class and the class after that and strangely, despite a just a few of the workouts, each was “easier” than the last, which I attribute to improvements in my cardiovascular and cardio-respiratory health. For a man of my size (6’2 & 270 lbs) I regularly burn from between 700-1100 calories each class. Your results will depend on your weight, level of intensity, and experience.
So, is HIIT scary? Yeah, if you’re scared of intensity and hard work but it becomes less scary the more you do. In fact, it becomes quite fun.
Is HIIT worth it? 100% Yes.
Get into the Manmakers.
Om, Baby, Om!