By WIN Contributor, Scott Paul, Personal Trainer
There is somewhat of a craze going on right now interval training. Many people seem to be doing it, from athletes to non-athletes, and rightly so. For someone looking to lose a bit of weight and get in better physical shape, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) offers some key benefits. For athletes, it offers more of chance to train the energy system that they use for competition.
First, let’s look at two of the key reasons why HIIT can be good for weight loss and getting stronger physically:
• It burns more calories and at a faster rate (and keeps your metabolism up a little longer). Burning calories is essential when it comes to weight loss, just as essential as it is keeping the calories going in to a minimum. When it comes to weight loss that is probably your main factor, because you can’t lose weight if the calories in are more than the calories out.
• People work, have kids, drive here, drive there, etc. and don’t have a lot of time. HIIT offers a much faster, more efficient way to workout. Train harder for shorter periods.
Now, lets look at how HIIT is good for athletes AND some things to consider. For the same reasons as above, HIIT can be very beneficial to the athlete. Depending on your athletic event is where this might get a little tricky. In many HIIT workouts you might go hard for 20-30 seconds, rest for a bit and repeat. As you may or may not know, you have energy systems and those energy systems play a big role in sport specificity.
Take hockey for example. A good shift is about 30-60 seconds long. Then you can spend about 2-4 minutes on the bench. So, many people and athletes figure 30 second intervals of sprinting will work. But do you spend a shift of 30 secondsskating at top speed the entire time? I don’t think so. Maybe 5-10 seconds of the 30 seconds is skating hard (and I don’t mean top speed, because you will very rarely skate top speed in a game). So your intervals should match that. 10 seconds of sprinting, 20 seconds of active recovery followed by a 2 minute rest.
If you play sports or just like to keep in shape for your own health, HIIT can give you that next level of training. We offer a variety of alternative health care services Niagara Falls at WIN Health Solutions, with personal training being one option. Call our clinic for more information or to arrange a personal training session.