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Hit it with high intensity interval training

Research shows that it increases testosterone, growth hormones, muscle mass and strength and brain derived neurotrophic factor

Mayukh Banerjee   |   Published 24.06.21, 03:12 AM

Staying motivated to work out regularly and embrace fitness as a lifestyle is a challenge! It is a struggle faced both by the individual, as well as his coach who has to find ways to keep him engaged. Initially the motivation is extrinsic, dependent more on external factors such as a desire for improved physical appearance. With time, the motivation becomes intrinsic, an internal desire to work out and stay fit and strong. This intrinsic motivation is what makes athletes out of us.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a great tool to keep up your workout motivation. As the name suggests, it is alternate rounds of high intensity exercise coupled with periods of rest or low intensity exercise. Now the term high intensity might sound scary. It really is not that intimidating! Intensity is a relative term, for example, a 100-yard dash is high intensity for an athlete, while speed walking may be a challenge for sedentary individuals. Ideally, an HIIT workout is designed around the abilities of each individual. Having said that, most people with a clean bill of health may safely try out the generic ones available online.


Benefits of HIIT

• HIIT is short and sweet. Due to the high intensity of the workout, the actual session does not last more than 15 minutes. Add to that warm-ups and cool-down and a properly designed session should take no more than 30 minutes of your time. It’s the ideal workout for people complaining of lack of time.

• HIIT is great for calorie loss. It causes metabolic overload (calorie burn in the absence of oxygen) and works out type 2 muscle fibres (fast twitch). It develops explosive energy, strength and mobility.

• We know that variety is the spice of life! And so it is with HIIT. It is highly flexible and can be adjusted to individual needs. For example, while some workouts may focus on strength, others can do so on endurance.

• HIIT is a great workout for older adults. Research shows that it increases testosterone, growth hormones, muscle mass and strength and brain derived neurotrophic factor. All vitally important for the older folks! However, generic HIIT workouts available on the internet may not be suitable for this category of individuals and it is better to structure the workout after consulting a certified coach.

• HIIT is appropriate for clinical cases, people with medical conditions. Again, the workout will have to be structured in consultation with a certified coach.

Practising HIIT:

To get you started with HIIT, we have uploaded a follow-along workout video. Please use the link to access it.

This particular workout is targeted towards improving your core strength and stamina. By doing this workout regularly, you should experience:

• Greater core strength and stamina;

• Improved balance and mobility;

• Substantial calorie loss.

Please note that this is an intermediate intensity workout. During the course of the workout, if you feel unwell, please stop exercising immediately and consult a medical professional if necessary. Not all exercises are meant for everyone. If you have a medical condition or have not worked out, please consult a fitness professional prior starting this session. Should you have any doubts, please feel free to write to me on the email given below.

Always consult a professional before starting on a workout.

The writer, a martial arts and fitness coach, is the founder of Mike’s Martial Arts, a Calcutta-based martial arts and advanced functional fitness studio. Contact:

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