We all would love more time in the day – more minutes to enjoy the stuff we often don’t get the chance to do because of our busy working lives. Spending additional time with family, friends and on hobbies is no doubt on the to-do lists of many people in 2013 – and just one of the many reasons why so many fitness plans fail.
The time-poor trainer, however, shouldn’t fret and lose sleep over how much time they’ll need to dedicate to getting fit and looking fab. Often the best training sessions are the short ones – as little as 20 minutes, and with more than enough extra time to enjoy a meal in your lunch break, too!
My favourite method of training – and what I coach at City Gym, Sydney in my FIT and STRENGTH classes – is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT helps burn fat while maintaining muscle through a stop-start system of training that’s transferable to almost any exercises. HIIT, as the name suggests, combines high-intensity calorie-torching periods of activity with low-intensity recovery periods for an overall duration of as little as 20 minutes each session. That’s right – no more hour-plus torture sessions!
HIIT is ideal for anyone wanting to lose weight, including those who have been working out and have seen little to no results or those pressed for time and want to achieve a lot in a short amount of time.
Quality training – and great results – is all about your output. After all, you reap what you sow! A workout at a good intensity (more than 75 per cent of your maximum heart rate) for 20 minutes can be as beneficial as 45 minutes or longer at half your maximum heart rate!
The benefits of short, sharp and high-intensity training sessions are all about your post-recovery state – if you’re working harder you’re going to have a slightly elevated heart and metabolic rate, meaning you’re burning more calories over the recovery period as well as when you’re actually training. Some studies have shown that HIIT burns 9x more fat than traditional cardiovascular exercise and keeps your metabolism elevated for more than 24 hours afterwards! This means you are going to keep burning calories after you have finished exercising. Next time you plan a long run or an extended training session, stop and think. Are you planning on completing a marathon or becoming a triathlete? If so, great! If not, you’re likely better spending your time elsewhere using other training methods.
If you’re looking for ripped abs and toned arms, HIIT can help you get there. Drop more short-duration high-intensity workouts into your training regime and see your results soar. And, better yet, you’ll be saving time that you can spend with your family and friends outside the gym, too.
NEXT WEEK: Planning your weekly workout schedule.
Mark Moon is a holistic fitness and wellbeing coach with over 20 years experience educating people on the importance of a balanced and sustainable approach to their health and lifestyle. His philosophy is to teach people to think long term and big picture about how they want their life to look, and uses modalities such as strength training, yoga and life coaching to help them create it.
As a dynamic and down-to-earth trainer, Mark believes there are three key areas to sustainable fitness: MINDSET – NUTRITION – MOVEMENT – and when optimized, there’s no limit to the personal, professional and wider life goals you can achieve.
You can join Mark’s online fitness and yoga classes, or find him teaching in numerous Sydney-based health clubs including Body Mind Life, The Space Yoga Studio, Flow Athletic, Crunch Fitness and Fitness First.
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