Get ripped; Part 2

The Hulk

Photo: Fredric Dupont CC-By-2.0

In Part 1 of this series we discussed the first component of getting that lean, muscular look; diet. We covered why diet is arguably the most important component when it comes to being ripped.

As we mentioned in part 1, the idea behind getting that shredded look is to strip off as much fat as possible. While burning fat through diet is job one, stripping the fat through physical cardiovascular work would be next.

You can get a good burn on a stair machine, bike, or elliptical machine. For that matter, don’t count out any aerobics classes, such as kickboxing, that are offered in the gym or local community centers. When it’s all said and done though, the treadmill is the tool of choice.

Running outdoors is great. Fresh air, and actually going somewhere is always a good thing. However, on a treadmill you can control speed, and often the incline. In addition, the impact on the feet, legs and back are minimized on the treadmill in comparison to surfaces such as a sidewalk.

“Old school” thinking was that if you jogged or walked with your heart rate, HR, in what is called the “fat burning zone”, you would melt fat away. For those that are just starting out on their weight loss trek, a fat burn will be seen. This is typically the cause of going from being sedentary to being physically active. For the person that has gone far beyond basic weight loss, and is ready to shred, the so-called fat burn zone will just not cut it.

The name of the game here is intensity. Without it, the details that we are looking for will not be realized. Welcome to High Intensity Interval Training, HIIT. This simple method uses one minute high intensity exercises separated by one minute medium intensity. The end of the session is concluded by a one minute low intensity cool down.

What makes HIIT so great? For starters there is no boredom involved because of the constant changing in speed, unlike with jogging. In addition, studies have shown that the efficiency of HIIT is up to 50% greater than with LISS (low intensity steady state) training. Studies have also shown that HIT increases Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). Yet another benefit is that unlike LISS cardio that takes 30-60 minutes, HIIT can effectively be done in 20-25 minutes.

How well does HIIT work? Take a look at a sprinter during the next summer Olympiad, and you will see a perfect example of an athlete that uses this training method. So, jump on the treadmill, and get to training.

See also:
HIIT on Wikipedia
AskMen.com; High intensity interval training
NYTimes.com: A healthy mix of rest and motion

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2 Responses to “Get ripped; Part 2”

  1. [...] in some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on the treadmill, some weight training, and you are [...]

  2. [...] While you might burn a larger proportion of total calories as fat when you exercise in your fat burning zone, you burn fewer calories overall by exercising at such a low intensity. [...]

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