Let's face it, there are days you go to the gym just for the sake of going to the gym. And on those days, you go through the motions of exercise but do not burn enough calories or tear down enough muscle fibers to allow significant reparation. The solution: work out smart by working out efficiently. Increase your intensity to cut down on the down time by adding interval training.
Experts agree that high intensity exercises have beneficial effects for your overall health. In a 15 week university study conducted by Gail Trapp, PhD, female volunteers either rode a stationary bike for 40 minutes at a sustained pace or for 20-minute intervals, alternating 8 seconds of high-intensity pedaling and 12 seconds of easy pedaling. Consequently, the volunteers who did high-intensity intervals had lost three times as much body fat compared with those who rode at a steady pace.
High intensity workouts - which elevate your heart rate to 75 percent of its maximum - will boost your metabolism; after all, significant level of growth hormone is released through sprinting activities, which will aid in building healthy muscle tissue while burning fat. This effect can last from 15 to 48 hours.
A key to effective fat loss is to change up your routine with variety - spice to life. Try a cardio day with a change of direction sprint routine at a nearby high school football field. Many high schools now have sport turf that allows stable footing and accurate yardage. Start at the goal line, sprint to the 10 yard line and run back to the goal line. Pause a few seconds, sprint to the 15 and back, 20 and back, and so forth to you get the 50.
Focusing on your foundation lifts - squat, bench, deadlift, and standing shoulder press - impact your structure to establish healthy bone and muscle tissue. As a change up, alternate push ups with sit ups. Try them in succession with no rest; consequently, you will "shock" your muscles into growing while burning fat with the continuous movement.
High speed cycle sprinting, speed swimming, sprinting up stairs, sprint intervals, basketball pick up game, volleyball, beach sprinting, rowing, fitness boot camp training or an activity that involves a high intensity burst for a short duration followed by a slowdown in intensity. For example, go to a boxing class where you can alternate hitting the heavy bag hard and soft during three 3 minute rounds; then, jump rope with a variety of speeds, engage in hitting mitts with a partner, and finish with sit ups.
No matter what your age or fitness level, you can benefit by increasing your workout intensity. Once you receive clearance from your doctor, get after it! Finish your workout in half the time by increasing your intensity; consequently, your metabolism will increase, calories will burn at a more rapid rate and, best of all, you will look, feel, and sleep better.