Throughout my years as a fitness coach, women have told me they want toned thighs and arms.  Men have told me they want to be more ripped.  Well this is how to do it.


I described, in my last blog post, how sprinters use interval training to get their bodies.  Marathon runners perform long distance steady statw running to obtain their bodies.  If you want the body of the standard marathon runner, then just run for lengthy periods of time and allow your muscle to break down.  If you have extra fat on your body, you won’t lose it effectively going this route(also explained in the last post)
Now if you want a more developed look for your body, interval training is the way to go.

I am going to explain how to perform High Intensity Interval Training  and Tabata intervals rather than the science behind performing them.  If I get a lot of questions about the science, then I will write a post about that.  Before attempting any type of intense exercise, you should consult a doctor.  Interval training performed effectively forces you to perform near your maximum heart rate.

High Intensity Interval Training

The HIIT protocol requires you to be ready to exercise harder than you ever have before.  From the very beginning, you must move as fast as possible and attempt to sustain that effort.  For instance, if your circuit involves sprinting, jumping jacks, bear crawls, or squat jumps, then you will have to perform quickest and most powerful sprints, jumping jacks, bear crawls, or squat jumps that you are able to.   This means, make sure you have a doctor’s consent before you try it and make sure you are warmed up also.

The idea is to perform a 1:1 ratio of highly intense work to rest and repeatthis 8-12 times.  So if this is your first time, I suggest 15 seconds of work to 15 seconds of rest.  Any intense exercise can be used.  Such as the previous suggestions or kettlebell swings, barbell cleans, burpees, etc.

1         15 seconds work
Rest-15 seconds
2           repeat
Rest-15 seconds

Just continue this pattern until you complete a minimum of 8 rounds.  By round 6 you may be questioning why you are doing this to begin with. Ignore the question and just keep going. 

After a few sessions, When your body adapts to the 15 seconds of work, then increase to 30 seconds.  When you are ready, then increase to 45 seconds.  And when you get good at that, increase to 1 minute.  If you can sustain this level of work for a full minute for 12 rounds, you are just amazing.

Tabata Intervals

This protocol for interval training can also be very intense, but takes less time to complete.  The idea is to complete 20 seconds of all out work, then either completely rest or exercise at a low intensity for 10 seconds.  This equals 1 set.  Repeat the cycle, without stopping, 8 times.  Total time is then 4 minutes.  It is important that the 20 seconds is your high intensity portion, and then your 10 seconds is low intensity or complete rest.  There are a variety of timer apps out there that have tabata intervals so you don’t have to stare at a stop watch.

After the 4 minutes is completed, I prefer to rest for 2 minutes, then perform another 4 minute tabata.  I may do this a few times for myself or my clients.  Just as with the HIIT, there is lots of variety.  You can per only two exercises for the entire round, or you can mix in 8  different high and low intensity exercises.  

There you have it.  Efficient ways to exercise your bodies, increase muscle mass, and in turn, burn more calories (and fat) at rest. 

Have a good weekend everyone.