High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-Intensity interval training (HIIT)
is the real deal for building fitness (aerobic capacity) quickly.
In untrained people, HIIT causes gains of up to 17 percent in
maximal oxygen consumption in only a few weeks.
HIIT involves repeated bouts of
short-term, high intensity exercise (e.g., 30 seconds) followed by
30 seconds to four minutes of rest between intervals. The test
subjects also showed improvements in power output on a stationary
bicycle and blood pressure regulation. Scientists are
discovering the magic of high-intensity exercise. It builds
fitness in people ranging from sedentary adults and heart patients
to world class athletes. (Journal Strength Conditioning Research,
HIIT became the buzzword of 2013 for
the three following reasons. 1) HIIT workouts/cardio have been
shown to burn more calories and create more fat loss than regular
LISS cardio (low-intensity steady state). It is no secret that
the majority of the top bodybuilders in the world are now doing 10
to 12 minutes of HIIT cardio each day when prepping for a show
versus the hour they used to do in the past. Science has
replaced bro science, plain and simple. 2) HIIT training has
been shown to increase metabolic rate, which is the foundation
for losing body fat. More and more data is showing that
low-calorie diets combined with excess LISS cardio actually decrease
metabolic capacity -- the technical term is metabolic adaptation aka
metabolic damage. 3) The body begins to adapt to traditional
cardio in about seven to 10 days and the fat-burning component
starts to become compromised. There is not one shred of
empirical evidence that shows the body adapts to HIIT training and
this is why HIIT is a better tool for fat loss and maintaining lean
Gone are the days of having two hours
free in the gym to train. Knowing this, it is just not
realistic to try to carve our two hours in each day to fit in an
hour of lifting and an hour of cardio. It is much more
feasible to remove that hour of traditional cardio and replace it
with 12 to 15 minutes of HIIT training, especially when the benefits
of HIIT will long surpass the traditional methods and move us closer
to our goals.
A key point to remember with HIIT
training is the "high intensity" part. You should be near your
MAXIMUM intensity for the "work" period of your intervals.
HIIT training is pulling or pushing a sled at maximum intensity for
eight to ten seconds followed by a 25 to 30 second rest period.
HIIT training is not running on a treadmill for 45 seconds then
resting for 90 seconds.
As an example, Usain Bolt (worlds
fastest man) talks about his strategy used in sprinting, and anyone
who thinks that the 200-meter dash is just an all-out sprint is dead
wrong. He says that even at his best conditioning, he can hit
a maximum speed after about four seconds and maintain it for at most
another six to eight seconds before he begins to tire. Now if
the worlds fastest man tires out at 12 seconds at maximum intensity,
why do we surmise our supposed maximum intensity can last for
20-plus seconds? The answer is a lack of fundamental
understanding of what maximum intensity is and how much energy you
must exert. I can grab any guy in the gym and we can go sprint
on a treadmill at 15 mph. Now that 15 mph may be at the top
end of his speed, he may need to exert 95 percent of his maximum
intensity to achieve the desired speed in our sprint. This is
great and exactly the concept you want to embrace. Now let's
say my top speed is around 20 mph, well I would be drastically
underestimating my maximum intensity running at 15 mph.
The point of this is don't go by
someone else's book of what maximum intensity should be, and don't
define it by some arbitrary speed limit set on a treadmill. It
does not matter if you are 20 years old or 50 years old. We
all have our own level of maximum intensity. You simply push
your body to that limit for a short period of time as discussed
above, then recover in a period of two to three times of the max
interval just performed.
Donnelly, Fitness Rx for Men, March 2014
So I just purchased a new toy to play
with at our outdoor warrior workouts. I've been thinking about
picking one up for a while now, and had the opportunity to scoop one
up when my buddy Joe told me about a CrossFit gym closing up (thanks
Atlas Stones are a
fundamental test of strength in many strongman competitions, and
they have also become a staple among strength training enthusiasts
who are looking for the ultimate strength workout. Their
awkward shape and unusual center of gravity when lifted allows them
to promote the need for strong stabilization and dynamic
re-centering of an athlete's balance throughout the range of motion
of an Atlas stone load. Train with Atlas stones to get
stronger, more explosive, and more powerful... whether you're a
fighter or just want a fit physique.
Stones literally tax
everything from head to toe. In fact, try not contracting any major
muscle group like your legs, glutes, back, chest or biceps during a
stone lift, and letís see if the stone even comes off the ground Ė
fat chance. When it comes to Atlas Stone training, youíve just got
to know how to do it right!
Atlas stones can be
homemade or purchased from various outlets or strongman enthusiasts.
A quality stone is worth the investment. My new friend
pictured below here is 115 pounds and I also bought a mold so that I
can make some 80 pound stones.
Atlas Stone Loading
- Straddle the stone with a wide stance. Have the stone between
- Initiate the lift by bending over and cupping your arms around
and under the stone. Crush it with a strong arm and chest squeeze.
- Grasp the stone hard. Drive your hips down while pulling the
stone into your body toward your groin. This can't be achieved
without a hunched lower back. Lower back and rounded back strength
are crucial to successful, injury-free stone lifting.
- From the lap, maintain a solid squat stance and explode the
hips forward and upward, rolling the stone up your body and
transferring your hands from underneath the stone to the top of
it. In doing so, you will stand as tall as possible in order to
load the stone. The result is triple extension: ankle, knees, and
hips. Always maintain a tight squeeze on the stone.
- Load the stone onto the platform. Platforms of 4 feet or
better are recommended and should be stable enough to support the
stone. Return to the floor and repeat as required. Thick gym
matting is recommended to drop the stone on.
Exercise of the Month!
Kettlebell Halo is a
great warm up exercise for the shoulder girdle. You can use
the Halo as a simple warm up exercise before starting your
Kettlebell Workout or as part of your workout as active
recovery. Halo exercises help build muscles throughout
your upper body, but it targets your shoulders and the
supporting muscles the most. You must use your muscles
to exert pressure to keep the kettlebell under control at all
times. This makes halos effective as cardiovascular as well as
resistance exercises by making your body work without a break
during your repetitions.
You can choose to either
perform one direction for a set time or number of repetitions
before changing direction, this creates a better flow, or
change direction after every rep.
You can also do the halo
exercise for time. Shoot for one minute rotating
clockwise and one minute rotating counterclockwise, although
you might have to work up to a full minute in each direction.
shoulders and the area around
your shoulders. (deltoids, trapezius)
There are 2 different holding options for the Kettlebell Halo:
The first option is to hold the Kettlebell by the ball, or
body of the Kettlebell and then turn the kettlebell over at
the back of the neck. The second option is to hold the
kettlebell upside down by the horns (pictured above). Again
the Kettlebell should be turned 180 degrees at the back of the
Hold it down in front of one
hip with both hands on the handle, then lift it on the
diagonal over the opposite shoulder. With a fluid motion, keep
the kettlebell moving over your head, circling around the back
of your head, then coming down from the other shoulder to end
diagonally at the opposite hip from where you started. Keep
your back straight throughout the move.|
that I just had ACL reconstruction on my knee on
Valentine's day, and have been reading all about what I
was getting ready to go through leading up to it, I
thought that I would share some of the information that
I came across in my research. I for one was not
100% aware of the specifics about the ACL, the surgery,
or why the injury was so common to athletes, so here are
some of the details...
The anterior cruciate
ligament (ACL) is a
cruciate ligament which is one of the four major
ligaments of the
ACL Tears are one of the
most common knee injuries. There are more than 100,000
ACL tears in the US alone every year. Most ACL tears are
a result of landing or planting in cutting or pivoting
sports, with or without contact. Most serious athletes
will require an ACL reconstruction if they have a
complete tear and want to return to sports, because the
ACL is crucial for stabilizing the knee when turning or
Reconstruction is most commonly done by autograft, meaning the tissue used for the repair is
from the patientís body. The two most common sources for
tissue are the patellar tendon and the hamstrings
tendon. The surgery is arthroscopic, meaning that a tiny
camera is inserted through a small surgical cut. That
camera sends video to a large monitor so the surgeon can
see any damage to the ligaments. In the event of an
autograft, the surgeon will make a larger cut to get the
needed tissue. In the event of an allograft in which
material is donated this is not necessary. The surgeon
will make holes in the patientís bones to run the tissue
through, and the tissue serves as the patientís new ACL.
ACL surgery is to restore normal or almost normal
stability in the knee and the level of function you
had before the knee injury, limit loss of function in
the knee, and prevent injury or degeneration to other
ACL tears require surgery. You and your doctor will
decide whether rehabilitation (rehab) only or surgery
plus rehab is right for you. Arthroscopic
surgery is often done on an outpatient basis, which
means that you do not spend a night in the hospital.
Physical rehabilitation after ACL surgery may take
several months to a year. The length of time until you
can return to normal activities or sports is different
for every person. Recovery time ranges from 6Ė10
months or longer.
It's Go Time!
March Madness? Yeah, I got some of that going on right
about now! Between the snow that has been falling every
week, and my recent ACL surgery, I'm chomping at the bit for
the warm weather and opportunity to get outside and do
something! Unfortunately, it looks like it will be
around June before I can start jogging and stuff (sigh).
However, there are still plenty of things that I can do in the
meantime, which is what I plan to focus on for the time
being... the glass is half full
Everyone can use a
little madness in their diet. Of course the term madness
is subject to interpretation and can certainly vary from one
person to the next. What I'm referring to is pushing
yourself beyond what you would normally do, or what your
friends would normally do... be THAT guy/gal that steps up
their game and makes people say "wow".
With 6 months of rehab being
the standard estimate for recovery, my event goals for this
year will have to wait until the fall. I'm figuring on
at least my annual Bike to the Bay for MS, and the Delaware
Mud Run in September for this year... although I do have my
eye on another Tough Mudder in October that I'm going to have
to hold off on until I get a better idea about the recovery!
How about you? Start planning now and commit to it!
It's great motivation for your training!
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tuned Readers... I'm planning on making one of these bad
boys this summer! J
How to Build a Salmon Ladder