Taking your workout to the next level.

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Intermittent high intensity exercise , like sprints, are the perfect way to challenge yourself and create lean muscle mass. 

Yesterday I posted the HIIT for this week (you can view it here) and talked a little about the benefits of interval training and how to take your workout to the next level. In today’s post I wanted to touch a little more on that subject.

Steady state cardio is awesome and irreplaceable. Getting in 20 to 30 minutes of walking, running, ellipticizing (is that even a word?), biking etc… four or five times a week is essential to getting and keeping fit and healthy. But, if you want to amp up your workout, take it to the next level and really see a change in how you look and feel you need to include some interval training in your workouts.

What is intereval training?

Interval training is a type of training that involves a series of low- to high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods. – Wikipedia

For example, if you’re preferred form of cardio is jogging, you can get some intereval training in by including some sprints in your normal jog. This means sprinting for a short bit, say 20 to 50 seconds, then taking it back down to a light jog or walk for a brief rest of 10 to 30 seconds and repeating this format for 10, 20, 30 minutes… or however long you can do it comfortably while still pushing yourself. It’s very intense exercise so even just 10 minutes will give you great benefits.

Although you can do interval training within steady state cardio exercise, I highly recommend including some exercises that will challenge all the muscles in your body and create “muscle confusion”. This will amp up your workout even more so your body is really kicked into high gear. This is the type of interval training I post on my YouTube channel, cleverly named U Go Baby Fitness, every Monday. These include exercises like burpees (I know you love those), high knees, jump squats, skaters, and even some floor work like planks and mountain climbers. It really can be almost any exercise that you perform at your max intenisty for 20 seconds with a 10 second break in between for a total of 10 minutes. This is called Tabata intervals and have been proven to give the maximum benefit as far as interval training goes. Just performing 10 minutes of tabata style HIIT twice a week will help boost your metabolism and create lean muscle mass.

I’ll leave you with this, CrossFit is one of the most popular workouts right now and I’m sure you know people who do it and look amazing. Well, CrossFit is glorified interval training. Follow me and I’ll get you there for free.

Any questions? What’s your favorite exercise to do in intervals?

XO,

Hil

Benefits of HIIT (high intensity interval training)

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Yesterday I posted a link to my weekly HIIT workout which you can see here. I’m trying to come up with a method to the madness in terms of what I post and when. Every Monday I will post a HIIT workout and Wednesdays I will post some more concentrated strength training exercises.

Today I want to talk a little about the benefits of interval training. I personally love it because I can easily do it at home and my kids sometimes even join in. Here’s a list of some of the other great advantages.

  1. Burns the most calories in the least amount of time. The Tabata format in particular (this is working at your maximum capacity for 20 seconds then taking a 10 second break for a total of 4 minutes per set) has been proven to torch calories and continue burning calories at a high rate for up to 30 minutes post workout.
  2. Mixes up your workout so you never get bored. I love that this type of workout entails doing different exercises. I tend to get bored with repetitive cardio and this solves that problem by changing up what I’m doing every 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Challenges muscle memory. HIIT creates muscle confusion so your muscles do not get bored and are always working hard.
  4. Gives you a full body workout. If you get the right combination of exercises together you will get a full body workout in the process of calorie blasting. Mix it up with some calorie burning running, butt boosting squats, bicycle crunches and planks and you’ve covered all of your body parts. I recommend mixing in strength training with your HIIT, but it’s not necessary since you are already doing strength exercise with this workout.

What’s your favorite workout to do in high intensity intervals?

Thanks for reading!

XO,

Hil

Week 2 of the 8 to Great Slim Down Challenge!

How did week 1 go for you ladies? As a review, I asked you to count calories, find opportunities to squeeze exercise into your day and performing a tabata circuit that I provided to you 3 times a day for at least 2 days this week (admittedly this was a tough one to accomplish as getting through it once was difficult for me).

Last weeks challenge was about self-awareness. Counting calories shows you how much you are actually consuming per day and hopefully will help you find places that you can cut back. Finding new ways to squeeze exercise in your day is a great way to get into the habit of thinking of opportunities for you to get fit. And the tabata challenge was to show you that you can get an intense workout in a short period of time, and once you get started it’s easier to keep going. You just have to start!

Week 2:

1) Eat breakfast. Many people skip breakfast, including myself when I’m in a rush! Before I had children I skipped breakfast regularly. Now I realize how important it is to keeping me energized, less anxious and content throughout my day. The weight loss benefits of eating breakfast are that it kick starts your metabolism and will diminish overall hunger throughout the day.

Of course I want you to choose a healthy breakfast. An example, whole wheat toast, organic preserves, eggs whites, fruit, yogurt and granola.

2) Meditate for at least 2 minutes per day. This will provide you more clarity, awareness, good sense and the ability to take pause when necessary (like when you’re reaching for that cupcake). If you are thinking to yourself that you cannot find the time or place to meditate that is absolutely not true. That’s why I posted a picture of a woman in a board room meditating, obviouly I don’t expect you to so this but the point is that you can find the time and place to clear your head for two minutes. No excuses!

If you need pointers check out my post on how to meditate here.

3) Workout. This weeks routine is going to be another Tabata circuit. In fact all of them are and it should get easier for you each week as your strength builds and you see the pounds come off. I want you to perform this circuit at least 3 times this week, that’s the only way you will begin to see results.

This weeks routine has a focus on your thighs, booty and arms. However, all of my routines will be full body workouts.

To review, I want you to perform each move in this circuit for 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for a set of 4. A total of 2 full minutes for each move.  The entire circuit will take 10 minutes. After 10 minutes rest for 2 minutes then repeat the circuit if you can. Try to repeat it up 3 times. Remember that this is a great calorie burning session so push yourself!

1) Skaters. Modifications: Jump side to side for more intensity, if you would like less intensity step it.

2) Push ups. Modifications: For less intensity out your knees on the ground, for more intensity knees off the ground and try and lift one leg up for 10 seconds and then switch for 10.

After these 2 moves rest for one full minute and move on…

3) Jumping lunges. Modifications: Remove the jump and simply step and lunge.

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4) Side to side planks.  Modification: Bring the plank to your knees and simply hold it for 20 seconds on one side, switch sides for the next 20 second interval.

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That it! Good luck everybody! And let me know if you have any questions about diet or exercise at Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.
 
Xx,
Hilary Ann Lambert

HIIT… High Intensity Interval Training…

 

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is something I do a lot of and will be a big part of my slim down plan starting on March 1 (make sure to follow my blog to get the updates on 8 week slim down plan). This is because of both it effectiveness and efficiency. It’s a great way to get a good workout in a short period of time and burns more calories than a long, drawn out low intensity workout.

Most of you have probably heard of High Intensity Interval Training, but do you know exactly what it is and the benefits of this form of exercise?

HIIT is a form of interval training that consists of a brief warm up followed by several intervals of high intensity (usually above your normal aerobic max) exercise followed by moderate to low recovery exercise. An example of this is the Tabata regimen which I have spoken about several times on this site. This is a very simple exercise that burns a lot of calories. The break down with tabata is 20-10, so you perform 20 seconds high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of recovery and you repeat this 4 to 10 times in row. Take a few minute break, then repeat. You can perform this workout on a bike, elliptical or treadmill. It’s a great, easy way to get the benefits of HIIT.

Here are some of the benefits of HIIT:

  • HIIT trains and conditions both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. You train your anaerobic system with brief, all-out efforts, like when you have to push to make it up a hill, sprint the last few hundred yards of a distance race.
  • HIIT increases the amount of calories you burn during your exercise session and afterward because it increases the length of time it takes your body to recover from each exercise session.
  • HIIT causes metabolic adaptations that enable you to use more fat as fuel under a variety of conditions. This will improve your athletic endurance as well as your fat-burning potential.
  • HIIT appears to limit muscle loss that can occur with weight loss, in comparison to traditional steady-state cardio exercise of longer duration.
  • To get the benefits HIIT, you need to push yourself past the upper end of your aerobic zone and allow your body to replenish your anaerobic energy system during the recovery intervals.

Source: Sparkpeople.com