Burn Calories with ʻHigh Intensityʼ


High-Intensity-Interval-TrainingYou still have to choose your trousseau, the catering company has called you a hundred times, the gifts are yet to be decided, invitations are waiting to be sent and the jewellers are still waiting to confirm your choice. There’s so much to do in this one month before the ultimate wedding day. There’s no time to relax. You have been eating out for last one week on your shopping spree, increasing your calories intake everyday. And the following night you are worried if you gain some extra pounds in this forthcoming week and loose down on your stamina. You want to look gorgeous, but with this eating habit, restlessness and stress level you are going to be nowhere near to that radiant look. Phew!

beautiful fitness woman

You were a fitness enthusiast, but who has the time to hit the gym regularly in the busy schedules of wedding preparations? Here comes the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to your rescue to burn out your calories with an equal rate at home.

How about a 10 min exercise daily? It’s too much to spare for such busy days, you would better take an extra nap. Well then let’s make it 4 min. Well that’s how much time you need to spend in one Tabata round,  of a high intensity workout.

HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise, an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. It alternates between an intense workout that involves short spurts of intense anaerobic exercises with less intense activity in between. It uses a combination of exercises like running fast for 2-3 minutes and then continue with slow walking. Other exercises could be jumping, skipping, biking etc. It burns more calories than a steady pace of walking; increases heart-lung capacity, boosts metabolism and self-esteem.

Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4–30 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved glucose metabolism and improved fat burning.

The best thing about this workout is that you don’t need any machine and it can be done anywhere and anytime. Explaining more about it, celebrity fitness trainer Mickey Mehta says, “The benefits of both HIIT and Tabata include faster weight loss, higher aerobic fitness, increased metabolism and heart rate and builds better muscles. It does not require extra or specific spaces like a gym and the biggest benefit is it is perfect for people with busy schedules who lack time as this can be done in a short span of time.”

HIIT is the trend which most of the celebs are now practicing. Tabata is a derivative or a form of HIIT. It is a high intensity cardio workout with both high and low intensity circuits. Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physician created this training module for athletes to see if they could benefit more from 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds of rest repeated many times. Daniel Vaz, head coach of Nike+Run Club says, “In Tabata you do 8 exercises with each exercise being done for 20 secs followed by a rest period of just 10 secs. The total time taken would be 4 mins. It will burn more fat because you train in the anaerobic zone and due to this even after the workout you burn calories even if you are sitting doing nothing. You get leaner due to losing weight, but keeping your muscle mass intact.”

Explaining upon the benefits, Swapneel Hazare, Senior Fitness Consultant at Prosport, owned by Zahir Khan says, “Tabata or HIIT program is far more beneficial than most other programs as it offers the optimum results and the time taken to complete the routine is minimum. It helps in developing type 2 fast Twitch Muscle fibres and in burning fat more effectively than doing cardio or strength training alone.”

The Workout

❒ In HIIT warm up, do cardio routine of jump rope/jumping jack/spot jogging for 3-5 minutes followed by 2-3 sets of squats, lunges, recovery, cardio with push-ups, ab crunches and recovery.

❒ Cardio exercises with burpees or jumping jacks for 20 seconds, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds push-ups, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds skipping, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds lunges, 10 seconds rest and so on.

❒ Repeat the cycle 7-8 times.

❒ You can create different routines at your maximum capacity with exercises like burpees, sit ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, sprints, stair climbing, leg raises, bicep press, medicine ball routines etc.

❒ The basic formula is 20 second exercise, 10 seconds for rest and repeat 7-8 times.

❒ Doing many reps is crucial for maximum aerobic benefits, for higher cardiovascular efficiency, better endurance and after burn effect or to maintain higher metabolism even after exercises.

❒ Not necessary to do every day. Thrice a week or so will be equally good.

“You should avoid doing it on an empty stomach and make sure you drink water before, during and after the workout. Warm up well, take longer recovery or shorten the work interval and vary the exercises,” shares Daniel.

Mr. Hazare adds, “Ratio of interval training and rest varies from program to program. Sometimes it can be 2:1 or at times 1:1 or 1:2. One can play around with training time and rest intervals according to their fitness levels and time in hand to do the session. HIIT depletes the oxygen from your muscles which has to be fulfilled post workout for the muscles to recover from the shock of exercise. This is known as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). Due to this EPOC your metabolism is cranked up for hours after you finish your workout which helps to burn more calories and lose weight faster.”

If you are a beginner, better begin with lighter exercises and then go on to the tougher ones. It should always be from amateur to the connoisseur levels. HIIT should come a little later in your workout if you are not a regular person on the exercises. Your body can’t jump onto such a vigorous exercise routine directly. For people who have just started exercising, for the older people or for those who have health issues like heart problems, high blood pressure, osteoporosis etc. this form of exercise is not recommended. Such people must start on regular exercises, yoga and calisthenics to build their fitness levels in terms of strength, stamina and agility. A warm-up before this is always recommended for others.

Adding on the other things to be kept in mind while exercising, Mr. Mehta adds, “It is important to give fuel and nutrients to the body to optimize performance, to boost endurance during exercise and recovery after exercise. Nutrient timing is just as important for performance and recovery during the training period. Complex carbohydrates being the main sources of fuel for a workout must be included in adequate proportions. A macro-nutrient ratio of 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 20% fat is recommended. Incorporate whole grains, millets, fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds etc. into your diet for optimum nourishment and energy.”

Well, we have leaked the secret out! The short-cut for those who are time crunched and want to squeeze a routine in shortest possible time. Gear-up and spend few minutes a week to keep up with your exercise routines this wedding season.