A 4 Week HIIT Program for Fat Loss
It seems that HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – is no longer the secret of fitness professionals.
These days almost every general interest website has articles about some HIIT program or routine.
Why is HIIT so popular?
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The HIIT Fad?
I’m sure that for some people HIIT is just a passing fad. They’re bored with whatever they’ve been doing and now want to try something new. Maybe they think HIIT will be some sort of magic pill that will get them fit without real work.
However, for the rest of us, HIIT represents proven methods for losing weight, burning fat, and gaining muscle tone. We know that it takes work to get in shape and stay in shape. An effective HIIT program gives us a framework for reaching our fitness goals.
The Magic HIIT Program
HIIT is based on sound principles of human physiology.
When a biological system experiences a challenge, it modifies itself in order to be able to more easily meet similar challenges in the future. – trainer Charles Staley
High intensity, in the context of HIIT, means that you perform an exercise at a level that pushes you close to your limit.
Then, before you’re exhausted, you pause. This rest and recovery interval in key to the success of HIIT.
The rest and recovery interval prevents lactic acid from building up in your muscles. Lactic acid is what gives your muscles that slight burning sensation when you work them hard. It signals that you’re reaching your limit and will have to stop soon.
But, with HIIT, the recovery interval keeps the build up of lactic acid in check. Your muscles are partially restored and you are ready to do another intense workout interval.
Now, based on the message of Charles Staley, your body MUST adapt to the challenge.
Your body dumps excess weight and burns fat. Your body knows that the fat is no longer needed and tosses it out.
Also, your body must prepare for the next challenge, AKA workout, by adding muscle. You’re telling your body that fat is not needed and muscle is needed.
That’s the magic of HIIT – it combines weight and fat loss with adding muscle.
The Balance Benefit
Usually when I write about the benefits of an HIIT program, I talk about weight loss, burning fat, and gaining muscle tone.
However, there is another very important benefit – balance.
It takes a child months of practice to learn how to walk without falling.
Sadly, many adults gradually lose their ability to balance and endup walking with a cane.
As you get stronger, your balance will improve.
As your balance improves you’ll be able to move and walk with confidence and you’ll not be afraid of falling.
In my conversations with older men and women they’ve mentioned to me that the fear of falling keeps them back from doing things they would otherwise enjoy doing.
So, let’s keep ourselves strong and able to balance with confidence!
4 Week HIIT Program
Here are the exercises:
- Jumping Jacks
- Pushups or Kneeling Pushups
- Bodyweight Squats or Wall Squats
- Plank or Bird Dog
- Prisoner Lunges or Split Squats
Do each exercise using the 20/10 system. That is, do jumping jacks for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. Then do the next round of jumping jacks.
Of course, if you need to, rest for more than 10 seconds before starting again.
Do 4 rounds of each exercise before moving on to the next one.
In those cases where I’ve listed a pair of exercises, the second one is a less strenuous version.
Your goal should be to build up to doing the more difficult exercise for all 4 rounds. However, it’s very important that you do all of the movements with good form.
Therefore, if you can only do a few regular pushups properly, then switch over to the kneeling pushups. You’ll soon build up the strength to do more and more regular pushups.
Do This Next
I’ve shown you an HIIT program to get you started.
However, it’s not enough. You need more.
You deserve more.
There are many more beneficial exercises than the five I suggested. The truth is, you need to do as many different exercises as possible to work all of your muscles.
Also, it’s important to learn how to do each movement with the proper form.
The HIIT program that I recommend to my friends is The Home Workout Revolution.
It features about 90 videos of HIIT routines. In each video the exercises are explained and demonstrated. You can follow along as a personal trainer does each workout and follow their pointers about how to get the most out of your HIIT program.
Photo Credit: Flickr – pushups
Photo Credit: Flickr – balancing girl