As a trainer and an avid student of exercise physiology and psychology, I feel it’s my duty to share the facts (aka-science) while also sharing what is the very best form of exercise to improve overall health.
First off, if you’re sedentary and haven’t done anything for a while, almost any kind of workout (even walking) will do the trick and help you lose weight (assuming diet is on par).
Yet, if you’re already somewhat active, the science still points to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as the very best way to get in shape, and there are tons of research backing this up.
The most intriguing ones I think are the studies highlighting the effects it has on brain cell regeneration.
The design of the K-Fit HIIT workout is derived from years of personal experience with clients and a heavy dose of reading and researching the best ways to get in shape, not only from a physical standpoint, but also mentally and emotionally.
It’s different than the traditional HIIT workouts because it includes low impact exercises (rowers and bikes) as opposed to the traditional high impact running/sprinting, box jumps and jerks.
It’s a style of interval training that does wonders to the body.
Let’s look at 6 ways HIIT workouts are the very best way to get in shape:
1.) HIIT workouts trigger the 3 major energy systems in the body. The more energy systems activated during a session, the more calories are used up. It also improves cardiovascular health faster than any other workout.
2.) Happy Mind. Because high intensity workouts are stressful on the body, it creates this negative feedback loop where your brain releases a plethora of hormones (which includes endorphins, serotonin and norepinephrine) to offset the stress set forth by the workout. Those are the same hormones that keep you high and happy. Due to their powerful affects, even big pharma companies have developed anti-depressant pills that target the activation of these neurotransmitters. I understand it’s not always possible, but when it is, focus on setting up an exercise routine as your first way of fighting depression and anxiety. It’s a much cheaper form of therapy =)
3.) Brain Health. Exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain. Recent research from UCLA demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain—making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections. Studies also show a decrease in the development of dementia and alzheimers.
4.) HIIT improves sleep and reduces stress. It can strengthen circadian rhythms, promoting daytime alertness and helping bring on sleepiness at night. Early morning and afternoon exercise may also help reset the sleep wake cycle by raising body temperature slightly, then allowing it to drop and trigger sleepiness a few hours later.
5.) HIIT training has been shown to stimulate the production of human growth hormone (HGH). HGH slows down aging by increasing exercise capacity, increasing bone density, increasing muscle mass, and decreasing body fat.
6.) After-burn. HIIT workouts activate the EPOC effect. EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body's "oxygen deficit." It’s basically the after-burn effect, which helps you burn more calories after the workout is over. It's one of the best ways to keep the metabolism fired up all day long.
Finally, many HIIT workouts can be done in a very short amount of time, even if you only have 5 minutes.
In the past 6 years, nothing compares to the results our clients get when doing HIIT style workouts. We are such big believers in this method of training that we completely eliminated any other class type and decided to focus solemnly on our signature class: K-Fit HIIT at Studio K-Fit .
The results are amazing. From weight loss to better sleep to improved overall cardio and strength, some of our members have coined it: "the multivitamin of workouts."
Walking with bouts of fast “speed walking” or hill climbs also counts...so just because you can’t make it to the studio doesn’t mean you shouldn't implement some form of interval training into your workouts.
Regardless of your exercise of choice, remember that the key way to get in shape is by combining consistent exercise with a clean diet. Below is our Lifestyle Nutrition Guide along with the K-Fit Interval set that you can do on your own. Just let us know where to email it to and it's yours.
If you're ready to commit to a regular exercise program, we would love to invite you over to the studio to try the K-Fit HIIT workout for a complimentary week with no strings attached.
Keep training smart!
Committed to your health,
Kendrick Ribeiro, MS, CSCS
Founder- Studio K-Fit