HIT Exercise Makes You Burn Fat More Efficiently

Published: 21st January 2009
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Copyright (c) 2009 Athleticbodysystem

You probably already know that interval training (alternating between high-intensity and easy recovery periods)helps your heart work more efficiently and burns calories in record time. Don't You?

New research from the University of Guelph in Ontario shows that it also increases the amount of fat you burn during your OTHER workouts too. The Study involved women cycling for four minutes at 90% of their max. They done this ten times with two mins rest between each four minute interval. After doing these hour-long workouts (called HIT for high-intensity training) every other day for two weeks, the women used 36 percent more fat for energy during a low-intensity 60-minute ride than they did before the study. Intervals improve your ability to use fat for fuel. Make every other cardio session a HIT routine and you'll amp up the burn of your lower-intensity workouts, too. And I know what the HIT training skeptics are saying 'but you have to work in the 'fat burning zone' well we're telling you to exit the fat burning zone immediately! >30% max HR work is not only time consuming and counter productive its BORING!! And not only is it boring but the very nature of aerobic exercise is to increase endurance. . if you increase endurance you also become more economical with substrate (fuel) and this ladies and gentlemen means the hour on the treadmill you done last week is going to burn a hell of a lot less calories than the hour you done last month! Your body has simply done as its told and devised a way for you to complete the hour session without burning as much energy. . it's a survival mechanism and its VERY efficient!

Not only will your body adapt in the short term but it will also adapt to it in the long term. You know after the 1st 3 mins of exercise at submax speeds you hit a small version of the 'wall' if you aren't warmed up properly? that is not only what you think it is i.e. your body changing over from anaerobic glycolysis to aerobic glycolysis and lipolysis i.e. going from utilizing Glucose and ATP as its main form of energy over to utilizing glucose with oxygen and fat as its main form of energy. Your body also becomes accustomed to the movement pattern you have been doing and adapts accordingly! If I told you to carry a large box from one side of the room to the other would you a) pick it up in one hand and hold it over your head or b) bend your knees squat over the box and carry it close to your centre of gravity?

The second one right?

You would make it easy for your self! That is exactly what your body does. Your metabolism knows exactly what demands are being placed on it and exactly what muscles are firing and can coordinate them accordingly. Make it easy for itself!! With the ultimate result of reducing the net amount of energy as the workout goes on. Energy production will not remain linear in your cardio session!

Now lets look at HIT as an exercise modality. Intense training increases caloric demand during the exercise itself and increases EPOC (Eccessive Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) which is a combination of increased 'physiological anticipation', thermogenisis and increased glycogen depletion and subsequent re-syntheses and repair to damaged tissues. Now remember that fat is preferable burned during low intensity exercise >30% max heart rate. . in your new metabolic state you are physiologically aroused. It essentially thinks you are in trouble and will amp up energy production in your metabolic furnaces known as mitochondria. Just as your body wants to keep fat as a survival mechanism is also doesn't want to be eaten or caught by predators/enemies. Your metabolism does not know you are sprinting or on a cross trainer. It simply knows you are demanding energy and could be in trouble!

The increase in intensity elevates your metabolic rate while you are exercising but as an added bonus it will keep your metabolism primed and elevated for a period afterwards too. It doesnt know you are training. For all it knows you are in trouble and need to escape. you may even need to engage in another set soon afterwards so it keeps the energy coming! Your 'basal metabolic rate' (bare amount of energy your body needs to survive) is identical to that as if you were walking around for hours afterwards.

So don't feel bad when your sitting on the couch recovering afterwards you've earned it and you can be assured you are burning fat at an accelerated rate.


For more information on HIT exercises click on the link below!


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