Ran across a book that looks at exercise in a different and I think useful way. Mark Lauren writes in his book, HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training, “Through the use of short intense workouts that train muscular endurance, strength, power, and cardiovascular endurance all at the same time, you are able to build muscle while giving your metabolism a lasting boost.” www.MarkLauren.com
Lauren’s idea for HIIT is that short (about 4”) of intense exercise is far more effective than 30 minutes at your weight-loss-heart-rate exercise. Lauren feels if we focus on building strength, balance and endurance we automatically lose weight and not the other way around. “Most people train with their emphasis on changes in body composition or, even worse - weight loss. “When you train properly, your body composition changes because there is a greater need for cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, and power. Next time you’re working out, think intensity not duration.”
“HIIT, builds muscle. Muscle plays an important role in your metabolism. It is a metabolically expensive tissue that causes you to burn extra calories even while at rest! The average adult American gains 2.2 pounds of fat per year, due to an ever slowing metabolism. The slowing of the metabolism is mainly due to a loss of muscle as we age. By gaining just 2 pounds of muscle and maintaining it, the average American could completely reverse this weight gain. Muscle not only allows you to burn far more calories while at rest, it becomes especially important while performing high intensity workouts.
Adding a few extra pounds of muscle, to most people’s frame, is like upgrading from a 4 cylinder motor to a 6 cylinder motor, and while working out, that larger motor requires much more fuel to operate. That extra fuel is - calories!
Another reason HIIT is so effective is that these workouts cause you to burn extra calories long after the completion of the workout. For up to 36 hours after HIIT your metabolism remains boosted while restoring the body’s systems to normal.
I’ve found that male trainers are rough and far more intense than I can handle as I’m injury prone. Probably most women in our time of life are not up for macho routines. So how can we adapt Lauren’s idea to our type of exercise? This is what I came up with. I have an exercycle with programmed routines. One program does intense pumping for about 2” – that’s enough for me. Then it goes down to much lighter pumping like going up a hill and then coasting down the other side. The whole routine takes 10” and alternates between high and low intensity . It works my thighs, calves and gives cardio, but it does not work my upper body. A better piece of equipment might be the machines where you pull handles and do pedals with your feet.
These are sold by Nordic Track and many others. Don’t have one of those so I’ll see how much I can accomplish with the exercycle routines.