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HIIT: the most efficient way to exercise?

What do you get if you mix giant ropes, friendly competition and a heart-pumping workout? Answer: Whipped!

It’s easy to get bored of treadmills, cross-trainers and slogging it out on your own in the gym. So a class that mixes effective results, competition and a fresh element is a welcome relief to an already busy day. Using battle ropes, that are more tug of war than skip in the park, Whipped!, is an exciting new circuit class at high-end London gym Equinox, bringing together the best elements of high intensity circuits, ramping up your cardio capacity while blasting fat (yey!) and using a great range of equipment.

The background

The HIIT class is designed to get your heart rate soaring to burn fat while sculpting you from head to toe in the most time-efficient way. Our instructor Rory explained that, unlike steady state workouts, intense bursts of exercise help put your fat loss in the fast lane. Sounds good, right? So if you want to change your body for the better, the Whipped! class is the perfect place to start.

You work to your body’s maximum capacity in 30 seconds, doing as many reps, using good form, as you can and then have a quick rest. The circuit is cleverly designed so you work a different muscle group with each exercise, and simultaneously push your fitness to its limit.

The class

Rory led a dynamic warm-up involving a quick jog around the room, followed by exercises like high knees and jumping jacks.
We were then paired up and allocated a fitness station. As usual in circuits, each pair circled the room in a clockwise direction, performing high-octane exercises at each station for 30 seconds before moving to the next exercise. By the end of the class, we’d visited each station four times.

My partner and I began in plank position on our forearms, pushing up onto our hands. The aim was to do these plank transfers as many times as possible within 30 seconds.
Next, we moved to the battle ropes, which posed the biggest challenge of all the exercises. Holding a rope in each hand, we slammed them to the ground, making small rippling waves, and swung them from side to side.
This was followed by a whole host of exhausting moves, from V-sits holding a 3kg dumbbell to barbell rows while wobbling on a BOSU ball. The class ended with another speedy jog around the room, followed by a series of stretches to ease our shaking muscles.

Louise’s verdict

If you’re bored of the same old workouts, this class is brilliant. Yes, it’s punishing, but the fact that the HIIT exercises are short and sharp is a big draw. Our trainer was a great motivator and helped spur us on – even when our arms felt like they were about to fall off! There’s no denying the class is challenging but it’s also fun and there’s no risk of getting bored. We’ll be back!

AT A GLANCE
 

What’s the concept? A high-intensity 45-minute circuit using battle ropes, the ViPR, BOSU balls and hand weights.

How much is it? The class is only open to members of Equinox. Monthly membership is £180.

Where can I get more info? Visit equinox.com/clubs/Kensington.

Difficulty? Whipped! is aimed at all fitness levels, but steel your nerves for
a tough session!

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High intensity interval training (HIIT) workout

High intensity interval training (HIIT) workout Incorporate high intensity interval training into your workouts to increase fat loss and maximise your results. Exercise scientist Johann Ruys shares his favourite HIIT workout.3 x 1km runs with 2-minute rest in between each (work-to-rest ratio = 2:1)2-minute rest4 x 500m runs with 2-minute rest between each (work-to-rest ratio = 1:1)2-minute rest4 x 150m runs with 1-minute rest in between each (work-to-rest ratio = 1:2)6 x 30m sprints with 10-second rest between each (finisher)Join the movement on Instagram and hashtag #myWHF so we can see what you’re up to!

10 ways to boost calorie burn at the gym

Trick up your workout with these simple techniques to burn more fat at the gym.      1. Aim for 3-7 repsTo boost metabolism, you want fewer reps with heavier weights according to the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education. To maximise calorie burn after your workout (a.k.a. excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC), aim for three to seven reps.   2. Combine loadsWhile lifting heavy and slow optimises afterburn, there’s something to be said for lighter weights. While they won’t buy you free on-couch calorie burn, researchers at the College of New Jersey say lighter weights may burn more kJs in session. The smart money’s on splicing heavy and light sets – try heavy for three to seven reps and light for 10 to 20. If that’s too easy, do two sets of heavy, two sets of light.   3. Rest lessTo elevate calorie burn by around 50 per cent, reduce rest time between sets from three minutes to 30 seconds, suggest College of New Jersey researchers.   4. Go hard or go homeWhile controlled moves demand more energy than loose ones, don’t take that as a cue to move in slow-mo. Lifting with explosive movements will engage more fast-twitch muscle fibres, which chew through more fuel than their slow-twitch peers according to a study at Ball State University. Choose a weight about 30 per cent of your 1 rep max (1RM), which means one you can lift 15 to 35 times per exercise. Complete four to five sets comprising two fast sets of three to eight reps and two to three at normal speed.   5. Rock the beatFiring up your Soundcloud before you hit the treadmill is a secret fat-burn weapon. In a study presented to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, those who worked out to their favourite playlist logged greater intensity and fat loss. Listening to tunes correlated with significantly higher reps than silence.   6. Reverse chargesIf you usually tack resistance onto the end of a cardio workout, you’re cutting off your nose to spite your fat loss. Fix? Switch the order. According to Japanese researchers, doing resistance before cardio results in greater fat burn. Better news: assuming it’s high intensity, you can cut your cardio to 15 minutes, which is the window in which the burn is highest.   7. Short circuitTo really make your cardio work, chunk it into short stints at near-maximum exertion. Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) at 90 per cent of your maximum heart rate (MHR) augmented by stints at walking pace. Most steady-state cardio demands 60 to 70 MHR. Try the 20/10 rule (sprint for 20 seconds, walk or jog for 10).   8. Take a breakHaven’t got the endurance to stay on the bike for 30 minutes? Not an excuse to not work out. In fact, one study found that breaking your cardio into 10-minute bursts broken by 20-minute rests resulted in greater fat burn and higher EPOC.   9. Delay the playCan’t fathom getting up at the crack of dawn? Good, because you’ll burn more calories per session after work. In a University of Wisconsin study, participants who exercised for half an hour between 5 and 7pm raised metabolic rate more than morning exercisers – as measured by post-workout calorie burn. End-of-day sessions also trumped lunchtime workouts.   10. Ring a bellKettlebells can add a serious calorie burn premium to a HIIT workout. The combination of weight load, heart rate elevation and whole-body movement makes kettlebells an all-in-one winner according to exercise physiologist Richard Garard. Try using them in eight 20-second intervals, aiming for maximum swings per round. By round five or six you should be flagging. WARNING: If you’re new to kettlebells, enlist a trainer for a single session to teach you proper form. These things can be dangerous.   NEXT: How many calories are in your coffee? {nomultithumb}    

Your bikini body plan!

The 12-week Body Plan will have you feeling and looking amazing this Summer.

PT and Instagram star @EmFurey has developed 12 weeks of awesome workouts that will get you in great shape and leave you feeling stronger, fitter and more confident and looking fierce. Combined with the seriously tasty and healthy mix and match eating plan from our nutritionist and foodie experts and you’ll be well on your way to the best summer ever!

So, if you want to feel amazing buy the plan now it’s a steal at only £24.99 for 12 weeks of hard-hitting workouts and delicious healthy recipes!

Below are just a few of the great comments we’ve received about the plan, plus a seriously fab review pitching the plan up there above Kayla’s. So, what are you waiting for – get your summer body started now and buy the plan here.

I honestly LOVE THIS PLAN. I used to feel so confused as what to do at the gym. Should I do HIIT? Should I lift heavy? I started to hate the gym (SO unlike me) and often left feeling like I shouldn’t have even bothered going. But Emily’s plans are amazing. They combine strength and HIIT training. It’s all planned out for you. She leaves space to CREATE YOUR OWN GOALS based on strength rather than aesthetics – IT’S SO POSITIVE! I love it!
10/10 Georgina

Super easy to download! Not too much information is thrown at you! EASY AND AFFORDABLE RECIPES that people can have time to cook and prepare! EASILY LAID OUT AND REALLY LIKE THE STYLE!
9/10 Saffron

I found it EASIER TO STICK TO THAN OTHER PROGRAMS
 BUT STILL TOUGH! It’s easy to t into your schedule and builds up strength progressively.
10/10 Sandrine

Fitness Amateur Of The Week: Jill Fortified Her Figure Physique!

QHow did your fitness
journey begin?

I’ve always been athletic and was very involved in high school sports. After high school, life slowed down and I got out of shape. I didn’t lead a healthy lifestyle and ate poorly. I decided to make changes, got a gym membership, and quickly fell in love with working out. My friend was impressed with my drive in the gym and suggested that I compete because fitness came naturally to me. My first competition was in November 2010. I took third place and was instantly hooked on the competition life.

What fitness regimen delivered the best results?

I lift heavy six days per week. I train shoulders twice per week and glutes three times per week. I train abs 2-3 times per week in the offseason and increase the intensity during competition prep. For abs, I pick 3-4 different exercises and do four sets of each. I switch up exercises for variety. In the offseason, I do three HIIT cardio sessions per week that involve sprints or plyometrics. I increase the cardio as I get closer to a competition.

My current program uses periodization. I used Jim Stopani’s Shortcut to Size as a guideline and tweaked it to fit my goals. I cycle different rep ranges weekly that include 12-15, 9-11, 6-8, and 3-5 reps.

“I lift heavy six days per week.”

Amateurs Of The Week Main Page

Amateurs Of The Week

Bodybuilding.com honors amateurs across all categories for their hard work, dedication, and great physiques. Learn how our featured amateurs built their bodies and hit their goals!

What nutrition plan fueled your body?

I eat clean year-round and stay away from sugar and processed foods. I’m currently in my offseason and stick to a 40 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrate, and 20 percent fat ratio. I have one cheat meal per week.

What supplements gave you an edge?

“The capabilities of the human body fascinate me.”

What aspects about fitness fascinate you?

The capabilities of the human body fascinate me. When I set a goal, watch changes occur, and build strength, I’m taken aback at the amazing process.

What/Who motivates you to live a healthy lifestyle?

I’m motivated to live healthy because of the way it makes me feel physically and mentally. I didn’t always live healthy. I’m now more energetic, happier, and motivated than ever. I love having a positive impact and inspiring others to live a healthy lifestyle.

Where did you go for inspiration?

I love seeing progress with each competition. I always take progress pictures and am fascinated at the changes that happen to my body. Seeing how far I came is motivating and makes me push harder. I have a great group of people in my life who are a source of support and inspiration.

What are your future fitness plans?

I plan to continue competing and working to attain my pro card. I’m currently in the offseason and am working to improve so I can transition from bikini to figure. My next competition will be in 2014. I want to become a full-time trainer and competition coach to inspire others.

What is the most important fitness tip?

Dieting is the key. Without a clean, proper diet, you will not see results from your hard work.

Who is your favorite fitness competitor?

Dana Linn Bailey represents beauty and strength. She’s strong and feminine. I love watching her on stage and look at her photos for motivation. She has an amazing physique and personality. She’s funny, humble, genuine, and always takes time for her fans.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

Bodybuilding.com is where I get the majority of my supplements. I’ve been a BodySpace user for three years. It’s a good way to network and track progress. I enjoy the articles, recipes, and workouts. The exercise directory is an amazing tool. I go to Bodybuilding.com for new workout ideas and incorporate them into my program.

Jill’s Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. “Lux Aeterna” by Clint Mansell
  2. “Till I collapse” by Eminem
  3. “Not Afraid” by Eminem
  4. “Remember The Name” by Fort Minor
  5. “Levels” by Avicii
Competition History
  • 2013 WBFF Orlando Fitness Weekend – 4th Place Figure Short
  • 2012 WBFF Texas Championships October 2012 – 3rd Place Figure Short
  • 2012 NPC Big Sky Championships – 5th Place Bikini Short
  • 2010 NPC Northwest Championships – 3rd Place Bikini Short
Thanks

To my sponsors, eFlow Nutrition and Max Out or Get Out Apparel, for the continuous support and belief in me. These companies are nothing short of amazing and I’m proud to represent them!


About The Author

You could be our next Amateur Fitness Competitor Of The Week! This contest is open to both FITNESS and FIGURE competitors.

Core blimey! The ultimate Lower Ab Workout

Most of us will have a goal to work towards on our journey to becoming fitter and healthier – we wouldn’t be motivated without it! But while these may vary from weight loss to building strength, there’s no denying that a flat stomach remains the stamp of what many consider a ‘fit’ bod. If it’s not a rigorous bout of abs-focused classes that we put our bodies through, it’s the yo-yo dieting in a bid to banish the bloat as fast as humanly possible. 

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