Today I’m going to give you two of the top trends in fitness this year, show you how they can work together and show you how you can use them to get ripped, lean and save time.
This past weekend was the FitExpo at Los Angeles Convention Center, and upstairs was the “FitnessFest” portion, where educators were running classes on the latest in motion mechanics and some cutting edge moves to implement. I worked with and met some really cool people in the industry and learned a lot of terrible and legal things to do to people.
Then the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) published a report, and four of the six classes I took at the conference intersected with the No. 1 and the No. 4 trends: “High Intensity Interval Training” (HIIT) and “Bodyweight Training” respectively.
I’m not sure how happy my clients are about the new moves I’m busting out this week, but they’ll thank me eventually… right?
First, a few weeks ago I wrote a column about using HIIT training as a meditative process, but if you didn’t catch that here is the simple break down of HIIT:
HIIT is an evolution from Tabata. It is a short burst of extremely intense bouts of exercise (at about 80% of maximum capacity) followed by a short rest or an active rest to recover; then go all out again. These workouts can range anywhere from four to 30 minutes and when done properly, they can be brutal. The benefits are shorter workouts and EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and an increase in VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen you can use during intense, or maximal, exercise) making your body more efficient in using oxygen for energy.
I know you know what shorter workouts mean, but maybe not EPOC and VO2. When you are working out you produce lactic acid in the muscles, and it takes oxygen and energy to move the lactic acid out. During HIIT training you are burning oxygen at a much higher rate than normal, so your bloodstream is depleted of oxygen and has to work harder, burning more calories in the elimination of the lactic acid. This is what keeps your metabolism up and burning calories long after the session has ended (up to 48 hours according to some studies).
Over time, adding HIIT workouts means your cardiovascular system becomes stronger increasing your VO2 max, your ability to use oxygen for energy. This all means that your overall endurance goes, up benefiting any activity you engage in that requires stamina.
We live in L.A,, and everyone came here to make things happen, so we are all really busy going after our goals. So a fast, efficient workout is just what the trainer ordered.
After HIIT, the other big trend is body weight exercise, which is exactly what you would think, using just your body for exercise — no equipment.
There are some tools like sliders and TRX (suspension weight training) that can help you leverage your bodyweight. That’s still considered bodyweight training because your body still provides the resistance.
Bodyweight can be used easily to make HIIT intense and beneficial. The two have the added benefit of being easily accessible. If you can’t get away from your desk at home or you are in a hotel for travel, you always have your body. That’s all you need.
Here is a body weight HIIT workout you can do right now with just a chair at home or in your hotel room. You can do 30 seconds on — go hard and fast — then rest for 15 seconds. It’s eight exercises, so this turns out to be a six-minute workout. If you have more time you can repeat it up to five times for a full 30-minute workout. Watch the video for form on any of the exercises below that you don’t recognize.
— Jumping jacks for speed
— Bodyweight squat, deep and fast
— Elevated feet pushups
— Mountain climbers
— Transverse lunge left
— Transverse lunge right
— Tricep dips with chair