Absolute Spin and Absolute Pilates Cardio classes both follow the belief of HIIT. Understand why they work better than your regular cardio sessions. Yes we are going to get a bit technical!
HIIT is a high intensity interval workout performed at such an intense level that your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover from the training. This recovery period or ‘after burn’ is called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from the exercise bout than you would have if you'd just done a steady-state workout. This is because the body needs additional fuel to return to its resting state. Requiring more fuel means additional calorie burn.
Take a look at the diagram below to see the difference between a steady state cardio workout (60 minute run on treadmill at steady pace) and a high intensity workout (Spin class and/or Cardio Class).
The white section of the graph displays your metabolism after going for a 1 hour jog at a steady pace. As you can see your metabolism drops back to its regular level after about 3 hours.
The yellow section of the graph displays your metabolism after doing a HIIT session (i.e. spin class or cardio pilates class). As you can see your metabolism is raised for a much longer period. It's only after approx 36 hours that it drops to its regular state!
BENEFITS OF HIT AND EPOC
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We are constantly inundated with ridiculous claims from ridiculous companies about how to get fit/skinny/sexy fast. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is…..but is that true for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
What is HIIT? Intense bursts of anaerobic activity (usually at a very fast pace using numerous global muscles) followed by fixed periods of less-intense activity (eg walking). The time spent on each activity is set and usually works at a ratio of 2:1 active to rest but can vary.
*Example: 30s Burpees + 30s Jumping Jacks + 30s Sprint = 1min 30s active. 45s walk. Repeat 4x.
These short sets of explosive exercise are repeated only a small number of times meaning very short sessions and lots of time saved! A 10 minute HIIT session would potentially replace a 60 minute jog. Surely that’s too good to be true!?
Does it work? Numerous studies suggest yes! HIIT can be just as effective, if not more, in improving athletic performance as a long aerobic session. The main benefits are improved cardiovascular performance, lung capacity and heart health, and increased fat loss! So why is it so good?
It saves you time: Gibala et al found that 2.5 hrs of sprint HIIT training produced similar muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training and similar endurance benefits. Bingo J
It keeps burning calories up to 24 hours after exercise: King found HIIT increased Resting Metabolic Rate for up to 24 hours post workout.
It eats into fat reserves: Shown to burn more fat than a lengthy aerobic workout.
It doesn’t reduce muscle mass: HIIT uses fuel stored as fat in the body, giving muscles a wide berth.
Reduces Diabetes risk: Studies suggest this is due to its effect on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.
Slows aging process: Stimulates the production of Human Growth Hormone by upto 450%.
Its fun: It really challenges your stamina and pushes your willpower.
Note; Although you should feel that your fitness levels improve quickly, HIIT should never really get easier. In your ‘high intensity’ sets you need to push yourself to around 90% of max heart rate. This will feel like you physically can’t carry on (or in me I want to be sick).
So work hard, but for less time, and win! Convinced? Try one of the cardio classes at the studio!
By Hollie Grant