For people trying to lose weight, the studies now prove that getting onto an elliptical, treadmill, stationary bicycle, etc. for an hour just doesn’t cut it!! A recent study out of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise did an analysis of High Intensity Intermittent Training versus moderate training. The results of the study were surprising. People who do High Intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) work outs such as functional fitness, P90x, and tabata, as well as others, are losing more weight than the people tying themselves to the elliptical, treadmill, or stair master!
How many times have you found yourself thoughtlessly walking on the treadmill, or, my “favorite,” the elliptical? These exercises are “cardio” machines, and most of the time people will go for a certain length of time and stop. The key to utilizing this type of equipment is to always train with a purpose. Every day we see a new journal article touting the new evidence that HIIT is the most effective way to go.
A simple way to work with a purpose is to hop on the treadmill, elliptical or stationary bicycle and do a tabata style work out. These workouts are excellent for maximization of time and benefits, (with rounds lasting a total or 4 minutes) while at the same time not requiring much equipment.
A “Tabata” is 8 rounds, with 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. For each of the 8 rounds, a specific exercise is chosen to be completed, then you may rest for 10 seconds before continuing with the next round. The key point to remember here is that maximum effort is expected during these intervals. At first glance this seems like a relatively easy rep scheme, but I find that even the most in shape people have difficulty doing this. That’s the beauty of it though – it does not take too long, can be done anywhere and at any level of fitness for great results!
My favorite at home Tabata consists of push-ups, body weight squats, lunges, sit-ups, burpees.. you can complete this with any of your favorite bodyweight or kettlebell exercises. Select 3 to 4 exercises, and do the 8-round scheme with each. With a minute of rest in between exercises, it should not take you longer than 20 minutes!
Try it out! Let me know how you do! A fun goal is to count the reps you get each round, and try to beat it on the next round. This way, you have a way to gauge your intensity and have a goal in mind!
These exercises and eating Healthy by consuming REAL FOODS is the best way to change your life!