High Intensity Interval Training For Maximum Results

Hello my friends.  Today I would like to talk to you about using your time in the gym in the most efficient way to create the best results.  This is not just my opinion, as I will back up what I say with scientific research and show you why you should be using High Intensity Interval Training in your fitness routine.

In 1996, Izumi Tabata did an experiment with the Japanese Speed Skating Team.  He divided the group into two.  The first group did 1 hour of moderate paced running five days a week for six weeks.  The second group did an intense four minute workout, four days per week.  The workout consisted of twenty second sprints with a ten second rest, repeated eight times. The result?  The group which trained for four minutes had slightly better aerobic improvement and a 28% better result in anaerobic (training which builds muscle) and had more lean body mass.  Not only were the results better, but the first group trained a total of 1,800 minutes and the second group trained for 96 minutes over the same time period.  The high intensity group spent less time, got better results and were more efficient!  The results brought upon a host of Tabata style workouts in different forms.  Somewhere out there is probably Tabata Cow Tipping.  

Let's take a look at another study.  A group of Postal Workers were studied who were new to the job.  It was found that their aerobic fitness improved for the first month, but then plateaued.  This became known as the Postman Affect.

The results don't surprise me as I've witnessed the same.  Let's take 'Treadmill Guy' for example.  Treadmill Guy is on the treadmill when you arrive at the gym, moseying along reading a magazine.  When you leave, Treadmill Guy is still going.  The problem is, when you see him six months later, he still looks the same!  On the other hand, lets look at the opposite, a sprinter; lean, muscular and a great build!

So why is High Intensity Interval Training so effective in creating a lean body?  The answer is the E.P.O.C. or Afterburner Effect.  E.P.O.C. stands for Excess Post Oxygen Consumption.  In a high intensity workout the body goes into oxygen debt.  Over the next 24 hours or so, it burns extra calories to bring the body back to equilibrium.  It's a workout that keeps on working after you're finished!

So how do you incorporate this into your workouts?  Well, you could do the true Tabata, but it's an extreme four minutes.  I suggest softening it a little bit for a few reasons.  The first is the negative effect on the nervous system due to the extreme nature of the workout.  Secondly, by having longer recovery periods (Tabata is only 10 seconds) more testosterone is produced (Women, this is important for you as well as it helps with leanness).  So here is my suggestion.  Simply do 8-10, 60-100 meter sprints and walk back each time.  Research shows ten 100 yard sprints burns about 500 calories and builds muscle!

I hope you found this helpful.  Your time in the gym is important in both efficiency and results. Stay tuned to my blog posts and I promise to bring you more science based principals to optimize your health and fitness!

Ken WindjackComment