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4-Week HIIT Program For the Summer

The sun is finally starting to shine through (here in Michigan), and summer is finally here! The lack of vitamin D during the colder months may have reduced your ambitions to stay on your workout program and shot your ability to reduce your food cravings. Well now is the time to get back after it before summer comes. In order to shed body fat while maintaining and even build muscle, you need to have a bulletproof plan.

You cannot simply do the machine weight circuit and hop on a cardio machine and do steady state cardio. Science and has shown that this is not the most efficient way to lose body fat, fast. In recent years we have found out that workout protocols such as HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and the world-renowned Tabata interval method can burn body fat efficiently, effectively and faster than traditional training methods.

One of the least talked about training methods is workout density, which is the amount of work you do in a given time frame. The greater your density, the greater your caloric expenditure. The best way to increase workout density is to decrease rest periods as you do in HIIT and Tabata training. The longer you drag out your workout, the less likely you can keep up the intensity.

An easy way to do this is set a time limit of say 20-30 minutes, and try to get as much of your workout done in that time frame. Each time you do that workout, try and beat your previous time. So if you are trying to lose body fat, get out of the mindset that you have to work out for hours and hours. The harder you work in less time will equate to a higher metabolism and a much more effective weight loss program. Keep it short and sweet, yet intense.

 

Why Does High-Intensity Interval Training and Tabata Training Work?

In order to burn body fat, you need to burn fatty acids by doing workouts that have a high metabolic cost and the best way to do that is to add HIIT and Tabata’s to your workouts 4-days per week. Hormone-Sensitive Lipase is crucial for inducing this process because it mobilizes free fatty acids from adipose tissue, releasing fat into the bloodstream. Then, carnitine transports the free fatty acids into the mitochondria where they can be burned for energy.

This is the main thing that people are confused about when it comes to exercise and fat loss. You need to produce a tough metabolic cost in order for this process to happen. Jogging, Yoga, and even sports like tennis and volleyball just don’t do this.

The most recent study, out of Australia, reported that a group of females who followed a 20-minute HIIT program consisting of eight-second sprints followed by 12 seconds of rest lost an amazing six times more body fat than a group that followed a 40-minute cardio program performed at a constant intensity of 60% MHR.

And of course, there is the Tabata study. This was the groundbreaking research that encouraged people to start moving harder and faster to lose fat and increase conditioning.

In short, the Tabata study showed that by doing 8 rounds of 20 seconds of hard work and 20 seconds of rest, you could increase fat burning and Vo2 Max more efficiently and effectively that steady-state type cardio.

The Program

Your goal will be to get in 3 workouts a week. One HIIT on the bike, one on the Concept 2 rower, and one Tabata workout of your choice. You can do more than 3, just make sure you keep an eye on overtraining and getting burned out. These workouts are intense so, you will need proper recover. You should also note that everyone has their own level of intensity. Start slow and build up as you see fit. As always, consult with a physician if you have any health issues that may hinder you from doing more intense exercise.

HIIT #1: Cardio Based HIIT Workouts

When it comes to cardiovascular exercises that produce the most results with the least time invested, sprint-type cardio workouts reign supreme.

The actual act of sprinting on two feet can be tough for many. If you are not a runner or a sprinter, I advise you to proceed with caution and build up to proper sprinting.

If you have a lower-body injury or have had one in the recent past that hinders you from running, actual sprints may not be for you.

So, instead, I like the airdyne/assault bike or concept 2 rowers. These two pieces of cardio can have a great bang for the buck without injury. If you are looking to keep their bodies healthy but get the tremendous benefits from sprint workouts.

Concept 2 Rower

  • Sprint workout week 1: do ten 100-meter sprints at 90% intensity, resting 60s between each sprint.
  • Sprint workout week 2: do six 300-meter sprints at 80% intensity, resting 90s between each sprint.
  • Sprint workout week 3: do eight 200-meter sprints at 90% intensity, resting 75s between each sprint.
  • Sprint workout week 4: do eight 200-meter sprints at 100% intensity, resting 75s between each sprint.

Airdyne Bike

  • Sprint workout week 1: do ten 10-calorie sprints at 90% intensity, resting 60s between each sprint.
  • Sprint workout week 2: do six 30-calorie sprints at 80% intensity, resting 90s between each sprint.
  • Sprint workout week 3: do eight 20-calorie sprints at 90% intensity, resting 75s between each sprint.
  • Sprint workout week 4: do eight 25-calorie sprints at 100% intensity, resting 75s between each sprint.

Tabata style Workouts

For a recap on Tabata intervals, it’s a high-intensity interval training protocol originally created by Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata. Each Tabata interval consists of 20 seconds of high intensity (as hard as you can go) exercise followed by a 10-second rest. This is repeated for 8 rounds, totaling 4 minutes time. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to increase your total work capacity and workout density in a short amount of time. I prefer strength-based exercises such as goblet squats, kettlebell swings, push-ups, TRX rows, farmers walk, and ball slams.

Tabata Workout #1

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds as hard as possible and then rest 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence for 8 total rounds. Rest 2-4 minutes as needed between exercises.

  • Goblet Squats 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 8 rounds
  • Rest 2-4 minutes
  • TRX Row 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 8 rounds
  • Rest 2-4 minutes
  • Ball Slams 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 8 rounds

Tabata Workout #2

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds as hard as possible and then rest 10 seconds. Repeat this sequence for 8 total rounds. Rest 2-4 minutes as needed between exercises.

  • Kettlebell Swings 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 8 rounds
  • Rest 2-4 minutes
  • Push-ups 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 8 rounds
  • Rest 2-4 minutes
  • Farmers Carry 20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 8 rounds

 

 

 

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