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High Intensity Interval Training Offers Condensed Workout

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(credit: CBS) Natalie Nyhus
Natalie Nyhus joined the WCCO-TV team in January of 2011. She repor...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We know working out is important, but what happens when you hit a plateau and don’t feel or see results anymore?

Our bodies are experts at adapting to what we subject them to. One of the best ways to avoid that stall in fitness or weight loss is high intensity interval training.

High intensity interval training is all the rage in gyms across the country. It’s a workout that packs as much intense energy as possible into as little time as possible — 30 minutes or less.

It works because you train your metabolism.

“Metabolic training simply means increasing your metabolism, doing exercises that produce your maximum heart rate in short bursts and period of time and then recovering,” said Dawn Doll, owner and founder of Revolution Cycle + Fitness.

You do exercise hard until you’re breathless and have reached your body’s maximum capacity. Next, you drop your heart rate down, or recover. Then repeat for 8 to 10 rounds.

“Typically the intervals are 20 seconds to up to three minutes in an interval. And your recovery time can be 10 seconds or one minute,” Doll said.

Most high intensity interval training exercises can be done in your home or even at the office.

Here are some examples of how to spike your heart rate: kettlebell reps, Plyometrix like jumps using TRX bands, and rapid pushups with a row pull. Your rest or active recovery can be things like high knees or slow squats.

“You work hard. You recover. And your calorie burn comes after your workout,” Doll said.

That’s right. You burn more calories after a high intensity interval session than during. It’s called the afterburn.

“High intensity interval training actually produces 48 to 72 hours of what we call afterburn period. Your afterburn is that time when your body’s metabolic rate has to recover, just like your body, your muscles have to recover. And that’s when you achieve results,” Doll said.

You spend less time working out, and achieve greater results.

Besides saving time, high intensity interval training lets people of different fitness levels workout side-by-side. Everyone’s maximum capacity is different, but as long as your reach your max, you’re getting the high intensity interval training workout.

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