Everybody wants to be in good shape. Learning what the best workout for your body is can be a daunting task however. As we age, there are plenty of reasons to get in shape… though it gets more and more difficult as we grow older. Perhaps you’ve tried running, yoga or weight-lifting. Maybe you stuck with it for six months. Congratulations! But then, well, you fell off the wagon. Get back on, quick!
The workout is an important task for those of us that want to stay in shape. It is important however to focus on your entire body. Walking is great cardio. Yoga stretches may save your life some days. Weight lifting is fun, but you just never seem to know when or how much to increase the intensity. Here we will discuss training program that is meant to keep you motivated and challenged.
The HIIT program training system has been around since the 1920’s when a Finnish runner named PaavoNumi was known to experiment with many unusual training techniques – one of which was structured periods of high intensity workout and then rest. He went on to win nine Olympic Gold Medals between 1920 and 1928!
This particular workout regimen has been developed over time and today’s leading researcher, Dr. Martin Gabala is at the forefront. According to Dr. Gibala, his biggest surprise in researching HIIT is how little volume it takes to get a response from your body.
So What is HIIT?
It stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This is meant to be a total body workout in a short period of time. Take an example of this as a short sprint up a flight of stairs followed by a walk back down. Consider it less exercise! In our fast paced society, this is becoming a more popular way to work out.
Why is it Better than other Work-Out Scenarios?
Accordingly, it is physiologically impossible to sustain maximal intensities during exercise for an extended amount of time. During the first ten to twenty seconds of an exercise you are using what is known as a high intensity energy source. This is a natural phosphate in your body that provides energy for muscular contraction. It’s called phosphocreatine. After these first few seconds however, the phosphocreatine production slows down and a situation called anaerobic glycolysis takes over. Now, more lactic acid is produced as a fuel source. And this is only meant to last another ten seconds to two minutes.
So with HIIT, you are working with your body instead of against it.
There are several levels to HIIT Workouts. There are also several different styles of High Intensity Interval Training. Here we want to focus on the Pyramid Challenge.
The HIIT Pyramid workout challenge is just a little different from other HIIT workouts in that it’s not so much based upon time intervals but rather reps. For example – Start with lunges and follow the below prescribed regimen:
Repetition is the key!
- Round One: 10 reps
- Round Two: 15 reps
- Round Three: 20 reps
- Round Four: 15 reps
- Round Five: 10 reps
Next you would focus on the next level of your workout stage, perhaps squats or pushups. Repeat this session for each set of exercises. Don’t forget to stop for air and water. You are allowed to take breaks in this challenge. An ideal session will likely last you five to fifteen minutes, excluding warm up and cool down.
So, again, why is this Better than other Workouts?
It has been noted that this style of training may help Type 2 diabetes patients. One study reported that a 2-hour HIIT routine conducted each day over a 2-week period provided improvements in insulin sensitivity among several overweight women and men. The study also reported that this type of training program can have potentially exciting possibilities due to its time efficiency and effectiveness.
Okay, So How Do I Get Started?
First, it’s important to remember that this is an intense workout. You’ll need to take a few days off each week. The best strategy to follow is to take days off in between your workout sessions, such as one day on and one day off. It is also recommended to use a variety of workout strategies in your program in order to provide growth towards the entire body, instead of focusing more on certain parts of the body. This means that, by following the pyramid challenge, additional workout routines that are not as intense should be completed during off days. Apart from ensuring muscle growth continues rapidly, this will also help to prevent plateaus.
So again, as important as your HIIT days are, your off days are just as important. Here’s a list of things you can try to keep yourself motivated and keep your muscles happy too.
- Strength Training – During off days, weight training should continue, but not as intensely as during your HIIT days. You do need to complete an adequate amount of repetitions for your muscles to become exhaust, without overdoing it. The weight training during your off days should be completed within four to twelve sets of repetitions. No more and no less. The same groups of muscles should also not be exercised every day, so a variety of different exercise strategies should be practiced.
- Core Exercises – Don’t forget your beloved Pilates or Yoga training. This is great for your stretches too, but here focus on your abdomen, back and pelvis.
- Stretching – You can choose your favorite style of stretching. Dr. Mercola suggests a form called Active Isolated Stretching, or AIS developed by an Aaron Mattes.Each stretch should be held for two seconds. By working with the body’s physiological makeup, circulation can be improved and elasticity in muscle joints can be enhanced.
- Non – Exercise Activity – This is as simple as setting a timer and standing up from your sedentary position every ten minutes. There are dangerous consequences to sitting all day without even a stretch.
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Furthermore, listed here are some ideas to get you off the ground running:
- 10 Seconds – Jumping Jacks – From standing position with legs together and arms at the sides jump out extending legs apart and arms up above your head
- 10 Seconds – Fly Jacks – Just like jumping jacks except you’re going to hold your arms in a fist and pull them together as if you were doing back exercises
- 10 Seconds – REST
- 20 Seconds – High Knees – Almost as if you’re walking in place but bring your knees as far to your chest as you can with each step
- 20 Seconds – Knee Tuck Jumps – Jumping and squatting in the air as you jump, pull your knees toward your chest
- 20 Seconds – REST
- 30 Seconds – Burpees – This is a full body, aerobic exercise… The basic movement is performed in four steps. Begin in a standing position, drop into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
- 30 Seconds – Mountain Climbers – These resemble planks or pushups while you will pull each knee forward individually
- 30 Seconds – REST
- 20 Seconds – Jumping Lunges – Pulling one leg forward with the opposing leg at the same time, jumping as you pull each movement.
- 20 Seconds – Wall Jumps – Simply jump as high as you can facing the wall. This merely gives you a sight distance. You can do this without a wall too.
- 20 Seconds – REST
- 10 Seconds – Squat Jumps – as you come up from each squat, jump, repeat
- 10 Seconds- Double Butt Kickers – Essentially you will be running in place but be sure to bring your feet back and as far up to your buttocks as possible.
- 10 Seconds – REST
Finally, to get started on your actual training routine… just get out there and figure out which one you like best. The workout pyramid challenge levels discussed here are merely enough to get you started. Check out YouTube and Pinterest for great ideas on which workout will work best for your situation.
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Don’t fall off the wagon. This challenge is meant to last thirty days. By the time you’ve tried it for this amount of time, your adrenaline will keep you going even more.