Are you looking for the most efficient way to get lean and healthy? Wondering if High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can help you get fitter? Simply following a HIIT protocol doesn’t always guarantee results.
In this episode, Ted uses his wealth of experience working with hundreds of successful high-performers to reveal what HIIT is, how you can use it to get fit, the benefits of cardiovascular training, and the best HIIT exercises.
He explains how to find your heart rate maximum, your three energy systems, and HIIT mistakes you should avoid to get that lean, conditioned, and healthy body in no time. Listen Now!
- The history of HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training
- HIIT as the third top fitness trend to know for 2019
- The ‘best-known people’
- What is HIIT
- Find out your heart rate max
- Ted’s best advice for cardiovascular training and why it’s important
- 3 energy systems explained
- Is there a superior HIIT protocol for fat loss?
- What a HIIT workout look like
- Killer exercises for HIIT
- Can you really get fit with HIIT?
- The health benefits of HIIT
- Ted’s last thoughts about HIIT
- And much more…
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Podcast Transcription: Everything You Need To Know About High Intensity Interval Training HIIT with Ted Ryce
Ted Ryce: I’m really excited to bring you this episode today. It’s going to be all about high intensity interval training. So, if you are wondering, hey, I hear about this high intensity interval training, people say it’s the best thing ever, people say it’s great for burning fat. You’re going to learn all about that and more.
I have been studying this stuff for the past two decades. And I’m going to share everything I think you should know and want to know about high intensity interval training.
So, let’s get into it. The history of HIIT, otherwise known as High Intensity Interval Training.
And before we dive deep into that, I just want to say modern life has a way of making us feel time crunched, and under pressure to get in shape right away, especially if you’ve been out of shape for a while. You think, what is the fastest way to get in shape? And what do people tell you? Do high intensity interval training. You can just do five-minute workouts. Hell, there’s a seven-minute workout, or even a one-minute workout.
And that’s where we’re going to go in today into what you really need to do, what high intensity interval training really is good for and some of the misconceptions that you might have about it. For example, most people don’t realize but runners have been doing interval training for more than 100 years to improve their endurance. This stuff, it’s not new at all.
But high intensity interval training or just interval training in general, didn’t really go mainstream until about a decade ago, when exercise physiologist started to come out with study after study, demonstrating that interval training in different forms could deliver big health improvements for a short amount of time.
And like I alluded to earlier, you might remember the seven-minute workout popularized by the New York Times in 2013. I was still training clients then. I remember clients like, “Hey, can I get in shape with seven minutes?” It’s like, hmm, not exactly. You can improve your fitness in seven minutes. So, we’re going to talk all about that.
In fact, you may even remember in 2016, people were talking about the one-minute workout. Now listen, doing one minute of exercise per day is better than sitting on the couch for, I don’t know how many minutes are in a day -- 24 hours times 60. However many minutes that is, it’s better to get up for one of those minutes and get your butt moving.
But we’re going to go into the details today because as they say: the devil is in the details. And I don’t know how good of a saying that is, how good of a metaphor, because we really don’t want the devil, we want results. But we’re going to go into specifically what gives you the best results? So regardless of how long high intensity interval training has been around, it was just voted the third top fitness trend in a survey by the American College of Sports Medicine, so in the top fitness trends for 2019.
And interval-based workouts are popping up everywhere. There’s a Shred 415. I don’t even know what that is; I just Google these things. There’s Orangetheory, which by the way, I used to work for the woman – I shouldn’t say work for. The woman who developed Orangetheory, Ellen Latham, was actually my boss, the spa director at the Eden Rock Resort and Spa in Miami Beach, Florida, the first place that I ever got a job doing personal training.
And now she’s come out with this thing, and they promised to burn fat and metabolically charged the body, as Orangetheory puts it, in a short time period. It sounds good. But again, what is the truth? Because you know how it is these days, you can’t trust anybody, you’ve got to be skeptical. And you’ve got to be skeptical of me, too. You’ve got to be skeptical of everybody. I’m not right 100% of the time.
And for those of you who just started listening to the podcast—by the way, you should go and make sure you subscribe to iTunes or wherever you listen to this podcast so you get it whenever it goes live. But you’ve got to really get to know people. And I’ll tell you one more thing, just a little bit of a tangent, is that typically the people who are the best known people, they’ve gotten to be the best known people because they have a marketing machine behind them, because they have a PR machine behind them. Because they’ve got things going that help get their message out.
Contrast that too, some of the experts that I’ve had, who are only known in small circles, I mean, that’s just a way of it. So, think about that; when you know someone and you can name them by name, or you know a workout method by name, there’s a good chance that it got that way through marketing. I’m not saying they don’t have anything to offer, because exercise works, many nutrition approaches and everything else work. But just keep that in mind.
So back to the high intensity interval training. What is high intensity interval training anyway? Because I’ll tell you, you may think you know, but most people do not know. I guarantee you you’re about to learn something that nobody has ever told you before. So while many of the popular high intensity interval training workouts generally combined short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest. The methods that have been studied by scientists are very specific.
So, you can make up any interval you want, but it may not give you the results, the specific benefits that come from the research. Well, why is that important? Because if someone say, “Hey, listen, the research says that high intensity interval training does this.” But you’re not doing that method that the researchers used, then you may not get what that person is claiming to give you. Does that make sense?
So, the definition of the type of interval training that you’re doing matters because when we’re talking about the evidence of benefits, we need to be specific about the kinds of workouts that science was based upon. If I make up a workout, kind of sort of like the one that I kind of sort of read about in the study, it really isn’t the same thing, is it? It needs to be specific, and we’re going to get into specifics today.
So, we’re starting with this. When researchers talk about high intensity interval training, they’re of course, talking about alternating between intense intervals. But here’s the thing: intense intervals where your heart rate reaches 80%, at least 80% of its maximum capacity, for usually one to five minutes, it can’t be less. It’s hard to get your heart rate ate up that high with less, by the way, and then you alternate that with periods of rest.
But I want to get back to this 80% of its maximum capacity thing. So, number one, if you’re not using a heart rate monitor – I use Polar. Or using the machines, the machines are good enough, although they’re not super accurate. If you’re not using a heart rate monitor or some type of machine that has a heart rate monitor in it, and you’re not tracking your heart rate. And you don’t even know what 80% of your maximum heart rate is, or what your maximum heart rate is, you’re probably not doing high intensity interval training, period.
It’s not about anything other than the specifics. And the specifics are what matter. So how do you know what percentage of your heart rate max you’re working at? Well, the answer is, you need to find out what your heart rate maximum is. And how do you do that? The answer is a little bit more complicated than you think. Because the only way you can truly know your heart rate maximum is by testing it. In other words, doing something that maxes out your heart rate.
And some of my clients, I do this with them. But I guarantee you, if you’ve been on the couch, if you’re a few months, or even a few years behind your cardio workouts, even though you’ve been going into the gym a little bit and lifting some weights, but you think you’re going to go in there and max out your heart rate, probably not the best idea, especially if you have any type of issues with blood pressure or heart rhythms, any type of heart issue or cardiovascular issue, you want to be careful doing that.
Now I have clients who are in very good shape and are maxed out their heart rate – no problem. But for those of you who are just new, and again, you’re a bit behind on your cardio workouts, you can use 220 minus your age, to guesstimate your heart rate max, and then that is your heart rate max, you take 80% of that. And that is what you want to shoot for during high intensity interval training. If you’re not doing that, then you’re not doing high intensity interval training.
If you’re not reaching 80%, of whatever that number is, then you’re not doing high intensity interval training, you’re doing something else. It’s not wrong. It’s not bad. It’s just not high intensity. And like I mentioned, use a monitor. That’s one of the best pieces of advice for cardiovascular training I can give you, use a monitor.
Now the best monitors out there or chest straps. Do not use your Fitbit or your Apple Watch. Because those things, they’re not that accurate. Just the way it is, folks. Just the way it is. Maybe in a few years, but right now, it ain’t that accurate, all right? So use a chest strap like Polar. Also, another one that I’ve used is the Morpheus by Joel Jameson at eightweeksout.com. That one works pretty good, as long as you’re not getting too crazy with your workouts. But if you’re just biking or running something like that, it’ll work for moderate to even high intensity, cardiovascular training.
So, the big takeaway here is that if you’re looking for the benefits that everyone is talking about, there’s a strict standard that you have to hit, or you’re not going to get the benefits. So, we’re going to get into high intensity interval routines. I’m going to give you my personal experience. I’ve been doing high intensity interval training for nearly 20 years. I’ve read a lot of the research behind it. I’m going to share with you the important points that I think are relevant to you.
I’m going to also share with you some protocols that you can try for yourself. And I’m also going to give you some practical tips on if you’re maybe not in a situation where you’re ready to go and get your heart rate up that high, how do you approach that because we’re going to talk about why you should incorporate High Intensity Interval Training eventually into your routine. It’s something that you want to incorporate, because the health benefits are just awesome.
And we’ll talk about how high intensity interval training measures up for fat loss. So let’s get into it.
So, what does a high intensity interval training routine look like? Well, what differentiates interval training from steady state cardio is the intervals. And the idea here is that you’re working really hard during your intervals so that you need a rest. That’s the whole idea. And why am I saying this? Because there was a popular high intensity workout called “Insanity.”
If you remember the, the infomercial, it’s like, it was such a cheesy infomercial. Now I’m not knocking Sean T, or working out, or if you’ve done Insanity and you liked it, awesome. You got off your butt and did something, that’s great. But the infomercial was like, “The usual interval training, they use small intervals with long periods of rest. And what Insanity has done is it’s turned it on its head.” You know, like that cheesy, sort of infomercial style marketing voice, right? Where it’s like talking about how good the ShamWow gets out stains or whatever ridiculous thing.
So, listen, if you’re doing long intervals with short rest, you’re not doing it right, okay? You’re not doing it right. It’s supposed to be high intensity, then you need to recover from that high intensity. And the chances of you being in such good shape that you’re like an MMA fighter who can go five-minute rounds with one minute rest in between. That’s probably not you right now. And you’re probably even nowhere near that type of shape.
I’ll tell you what, I’m not personally in that type of shape either. And I’ve been in that type of shape. And I’ve done five-minute rounds, MMA style training, with one minute rest in between. I’ve done that. So, I’ll tell you, I’ve been there. Very few people are in that type of shape. So, here’s what you need to know, you have to do things in a way, where if, again, if you’re not working…
I’ll tell it to you like this: your body has energy systems that work in a specific way. For example, there’s no human being that can run and maintain top speed for more than 10 to 15 seconds, it’s just impossible. For example, Usain Bolt ran 100 meters in 9.58 seconds, you just can’t maintain top speed, there’s no way he’s going to be able to maintain – if he did a 500-meter, Usain Bolt for as talented and special and superhuman as he is, he won’t be able to maintain that speed for 500 meters.
And it’s not a mindset issue, it’s not a positive belief issue. It’s just a rule of the human body, because you have three energy systems you have... And I’m just going to cover this briefly because it’s going to go in one ear and out the other, unless you’re familiar with this stuff. But you have three energy systems. You have your ATP phosphagen system, and that gives you that explosiveness that lasts for about, I don’t know, 8 to 12 seconds.
Then you have your glycolytic system. This is where you start burning carbohydrates. So ATP phosphagen, you’re not using carbohydrates for energy. But if you do it long enough, it starts becoming glycolytic, and you start having to burn carbohydrate for energy. And then you have your aerobic system, which is oxidative phosphorylation, in case any of you are nerdy like me, and you studied exercise physiology and biology.
So you have these three systems. And by the way, their aerobic system burns fat for energy. And we’re not going to talk about that, because there’s a lot of misconceptions about burning fat for energy. But just understand that you have these energy systems. Now why is that important? All I want you to know is that when you run as fast as you can, you’re at top speed for maybe 8 to 12 seconds, I don’t know, maybe some people can do 15 seconds.
But eventually you start slowing down and what starts happening? Your muscles start burning. And that burning is the burning of carbohydrates for energy. And it leads to the build-up of lactate and hydrogen, which a lot of people say is lactic acid, but it’s not lactic acid. It’s lactate and hydrogen.
The lactate doesn’t make your muscles burn the hydrogen ions. In other words, you become very acidic, that’s what causes you to get out of breath causes your heart rate to try to pay back the oxygen debt and makes you have to stop. That’s where high intensity interval training comes in. That’s how you know you’re doing high intensity interval training.
Okay, so now that you understand that, some energy system basics, what are some examples of high intensity interval training protocols that actually work? And I’m going to share with you a couple that have been studied, then I’m going to share with you what I actually do, because I take a more personalized approach, but it’s based on these things. So, one of the most studied methods is called the 10 x 1 method.
So, this method involves 10 one-minute intervals, followed by one minute of rest. So you do one minute of that exercise hard, you do a one-minute interval where you’re getting your heart rate up to at least 80%. And then you recover by one minute.
And during that one minute of rest, you either take it super light, which is what I personally like to do, or you stop completely. And we’ll talk about what exercise methods you can use for this. Because there’s a lot of different things you could use for this. It doesn’t have to be on an exercise bike or running or anything like that. We’ll talk about that in a second. But just understand the 10 x 1 method.
That’s something that you could go and plug and play with right away; 10 intervals of one minute on, one minute off, getting your heart rate up to 80%. There’s also the 4 x 4 routine that was developed in Norway.
And this method involves four four-minute intervals. Okay, so quatro, four four-minute-long intervals. So, you’re doing a four-minute interval where you’re keeping your heart rate up to 80% and beyond.
Then after that – and really, you want to keep it around 80%, you don’t want to actually try to max it, max it, max it out, although that could happen. But what you want to do…The problem here, folks, what I’m saying is if you try to do four minutes as hard as you can, you’ll get to the point where you’re not going to be able to make it to that four-minute period.
And I’m going to tell you what I do in a second, because I don’t like these methods. But I just wanted to share a few with you, just so you can understand. I really believe in personalized training and adjusting it as we go along. And I’ll talk about exactly what I mean there in a second, but I’m just letting you know. So, four four-minute intervals, you do four minutes hard, getting your heart rate up to 80% and beyond, and keeping it there for four minutes.
And to do that, you really have to pace yourself, or else you’re going to have trouble, you’re going to stop in other words, and then you rest three minutes. And you repeat that three more times for a total of four of these intervals. Okay, follow? So, we’ve got 10 x 1, we’ve got the 4 x 4. But let me tell you what I actually do. Because I don’t go by… I’m glad that well, we’ll talk about the importance of this of these studies in a second. But you got to use your brain eventually, at least if you’re a person like me, and you write programs for people.
So, when I write programs for my clients, I don’t give them like, “We are going to do the 4 x 4 method.” I don’t believe that’s using your brain. So, if you’re a client of mine, you’ve done things like threshold intervals and cardiac power intervals. And you’ve done also a bunch of other types of intervals, which we’re not going to go into, because they’re not high intensity intervals. They’re different.
I use so many different intervals in my training, to keep things fresh for people and also to build different aspects of their performance. And just to give them a little something different. But as far as the high intensity intervals, I use these two methods. So, The Threshold Intervals and the Cardiac Power Intervals.
So, Threshold Intervals are very similar to the 4 x 4 method, but I personalize it. And here’s the key: you got to personalize these things. Because I’ll tell you, if you’re a bit out of shape, and you try to do a 4 x 4, you may not get four reps of a four-minute interval, you probably won’t be able to do it.
Or if you do do it, you’re going to feel like someone hit you with a Mack truck. So, that’s not smart to start like that. What I do is I start to build people up, I give them one minute, with three minutes off, I build them up to two minutes with three minutes off, I build them up over time, I’ll even lengthen in the rest, I personalize it.
And why am I telling you that, because I want you to personalize yours. Don’t think that you need to do some silly method, because it’s got a name to it. You’ve got to open up your mind and think for yourself. So, start to slowly raise the intervals over time, increase the amount of time over time. And that’s, by the way, the principle of progressive overload, which I’ve spoken about a lot.
So, build up over time and give yourself enough rest because it is about the performance in the interval. And if you find that you did one interval and you really did well but then you tried the second one and you were just dying and you couldn’t even finish it, you didn’t give yourself enough rest or you probably just should have stopped after that first one and then the following time maybe later on in the week or even the following week, do it again and try to add another rep.
So let me tell you about Cardiac Power Intervals.
So, one more thing about the Threshold Intervals, I like people to keep it around that 80%. That 80% range, okay, I like to keep it around that 80% range. I don’t like people to try to go for 90 or try to max out their heart rate, you got to maintain a pace, or else you don’t last. Now for another type of training, which might fall in to sprint interval training is what the researchers like to call it, is where you go 100% of your heart rate maximum.
So, what I use is Cardiac Power Intervals. And this is basically where you get someone to max out their heart rate. And this could be a minute long, it could be up to maybe even two minutes long, I don’t usually try to go more than a minute to two minutes long.
But you try to max out your heart rate and keep it there. I want you to also understand one more thing, doing a threshold interval is a lot harder than doing, say, an aerobic interval where you’re keeping your heart rate in the aerobic range. Threshold Interval is going to be harder. So, you’re not going to be able to do as many and also is going to cost more recovery time.
Cardiac Power Intervals, when you’re going 100% of your heart rate maximum. For one, you better be in shape to do these. For two, it’s going to cost you more recovery time. You’re going to have to take it easy afterwards. And you can’t do that many of them. Shooting around for like, I don’t know, five or six reps, something like that maximum, maximum, and you can definitely start with less.
So, I want to move on from here, because we’ll talk more about the specifics how to get the benefits. But I just want to let you know these routines that I’m going over sound pretty different from the ones that you probably read about in blogs, or what’s offered at chains like Orangetheory, CrossFit, or the Seven Minute Workout or whatever. Even though they’re often referred to as high intensity interval training, they’re not really what the research has shown gives you the types of benefits.
So, let’s talk a little bit about how to do a high intensity interval workout, like, what should it look like? Well, the first thing that needs to do is you need to warm your body up. So, what I like to do is I like to do a general warm up with what you might call prehab, or rehab exercises.
And I use isometrics for these. I do this with myself, as well as all my clients who have some joint issues. So, you’ve got to look at specific areas that are going to get stressed from what you’re about to do. For example, if you’re going to be running, you’re going to use your hamstrings a lot. So, your hamstrings better be warmed up, all the muscles around your knees and hips, your back, your core probably should be warmed up as well.
If it’s just biking, then it’s really your knees. So, you just want to do some things to turn your muscles on just a little bit, then you do a specific warm up after that. So, what is a specific warmup? In other words, let’s say you’re going to go running well, you’d start with some light jogging. Or if you’re doing biking, you’d start with some light biking, you do that for a few minutes.
How many minutes? Well, it’s up to you. I like to use my body gauge. So in other words, wen I feel ready, that’s when I do it. So that usually takes me three to five minutes. If I’m going to do a workout, interval training workout, a high intensity interval training workout, I warm up for about three to five minutes usually. And then after, you want to do a cooldown.
So what exercises should you use for high intensity interval training? What I want to tell you here is if you don’t have a specific sport that you’re training for, like if you’re going to do… I have clients who do 5Ks, or they do running, they do other things. I’ve got a client who’s doing a 50-mile bike race. So, if you’re doing a bike race, if you’re doing a run, if you’re doing martial arts like I do, then you should try to use some specific intervals to transfer over to performance.
But, if you’re not a person who’s competing in a sport, then you can use anything that gets your heart rate up. So running, biking, elliptical, hitting the pads, the punch mitts, or heavy bag, jump rope, swimming, sports specific drills. You could use even light – as long as you can get your heart rate up to that 80% and beyond, you could use band exercises, resistance training exercises.
You can’t usually use strength training unless the weight is light enough. And the reason is this: either you can’t get your heart rate up high enough, because you’ve tire out. Or if you can’t get your heart rate up high enough, you can’t do it for that long. So does that make sense? You need to be able to do the interval over and over again. I’ll give you an example. I did a high intensity interval training routine yesterday, but I didn’t have access to the gym because there was a storm in Chiang Mai and it messed up the gym, and they’re redoing the ceiling.
So what I did was I did what are called alternating jackknives, for one minute. I did what are called squat thrusts, which is just a burpee without the jump at the top. Then I did one minute of bodyweight squats, then one minute of jumping jacks, for one minute each. And I repeated that four times, and I rested three minutes in between each interval. And I sequenced the exercises, to get my heart rate up, and then keep it up and make it harder as the interval went along.
But it wasn’t ideal, because it’s really hard to use exercises, to get your heart rate up quickly and to keep it there. So it’s not the best way to do that. It’s not the best way to do that. But if you’re like me, and you’re traveling, or if you don’t have access to the gym, it’s better than nothing. And you do get your heart rate up, eventually, but it’s just not keeping it up for minutes. Because as you’re about to learn, that’s where the benefits are.
So, let’s go into the thing that I’m guessing that you really want to know about, which is, will High Intensity Interval Training help you lose weight as fast as all the Guru’s say? I know that’s what you really want to know here. It’s like you’ve waited 31 minutes and 40 seconds just for this answer, right? Is he going to talk about whether it burns fat or not? Well, yes, I am.
So, the short answer is – or let me phrase it properly. Does High Intensity Interval Training help you to dramatically reshape your body as fast as all the internet fitness gurus, aka marketers claim? The short answer is no. Sorry, but no. Here’s why.
While there’s no doubt that interval training can be a time-efficient way to burn some energy, some calories in other words, researchers have shown over and over and over again that it really comes down to the nutrition if you’re talking about burning calories.
Even though that I will tell you this: Research has shown that the amount of calories in a 20 minute high intensity interval training routine can equal that of a 15-minute steady state cardio routine. But I want to be straight with you. We’re talking about solid performance here in that 20-minute high intensity interval. And we’re talking about doing 3, 4, 5 minute intervals. We’re not talking about doing 10 seconds on and 50 seconds off, right? We’re talking about hard intervals where you’re keeping that heart rate up high. So, keep that in mind. Versus a 50 minutes steady state cardio routine.
And by the way, the reason for this is that High Intensity Interval Training results in more stress to your body. So, it takes more energy and oxygen to return to the baseline. It takes you longer to recover from intervals, in other words. And that’s been known as the afterburn effect or excess post exercise oxygen consumption, if you’re a health nerd like me.
But the question is whether that calorie burn translates into weight loss. And that’s where high intensity interval training really falls short. The weight loss potential is just overhyped. It’s as straightforward as that.
Here’s the issue: it’s just easier to lose weight by cutting calories in your diet than it is to try to burn excess calories. Especially if your workout is only 20 minutes long, and you’re doing it a couple times a week. It’s just going to take more than a few 20 minute High Intensity Interval routines a week to make a major dent in your weight.
Now there’s some other things here like high intensity interval workouts tend to make you not hungry. They tend to make you not hungry, which is really important because hunger really is the issue when it comes to eating the right amount of food.
So, you can out-train your diet, but it’s really difficult to and doing high intensity interval training all the time. It’s tough. Now some of you may say, “Oh, that I disagree with that Ted, I made some changes in my body when I started doing high intensity interval training.”
Cool. But did you keep the results going month after month, year after year? And the answer is, of course, no. It’s no. At least not only from doing high intensity interval training. If you got results, you changed also your nutrition.
And we’ll talk about the best way to train and transform your body in a bit, but I just want to let you know that the afterburn effect is hyped up. It doesn’t burn as many calories as people have said. And that’s just the truth of it. I used to talk about the afterburn effect all the time.
And the truth is, it just isn’t that powerful compared to a change in your nutrition. And we’re not going to get into that because that’s a whole nother can of worms. So if that’s the case, then what is High Intensity Interval Training good for?
Well, the single most well-established benefit to interval training has to do with the health of your heart. Intervals can boost what is called cardio respiratory health in a smaller time than the steady state exercise. So, we’re not talking about superior fat burning capacity, right? Or bigger muscles, we’re talking about improved VO2 Max. Your VO2 Max, if you’ve never heard of that before, it’s the measure of endurance that calculates the maximum volume of oxygen the body can use.
So, scientists have found that your VO2 Max is one of the biggest predictors of overall health, because the higher your VO2 Max, it’s a sign that you’re very aerobically fit, the better your heart can pump blood, the longer it takes for you to get out of breath. And the farther and faster you’re able to run or bike or swim or whatever.
In other words, it strengthens your heart and helps prevent heart disease, which by the way, as you know, is the number one killer in America and including the world, actually, in the entire world right now. So the reviews of research have come to solid conclusions, interval routines lead to greater gains in VO2 Max compared to steady state cardio.
So, the biggest benefit of high intensity interval training is that it’s a time efficient strategy to get the benefits typically associated with what you typically think about; running for an hour, doing the bike for an hour, etc, etc. And the results are clear; less intense training programs with shorter intervals carried the least health benefits. While interval training studies reporting the greatest increases, typically used three to five minute intervals.
So, when we come back to that interval training, it’s okay if you start with 10 seconds, or 20 seconds or 30 seconds, or 1 minute, but eventually you want to get to that three to five minute range where you’re keeping your heart rate at 80% or above.
That’s the goal, friends, that’s the goal. And not only does it help with your heart, it’s also associated with improved cognition, because it causes more brain derived neurotrophic factor BDNF to be released in your body, which creates more brain cells in the area of your brain known as your hippocampus, which is associated with learning and memory.
And there’s even been studies showing that people who have a higher VO2 Max, in other words, people who can run faster farther for longer have a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s. So this is huge, huge, huge. That’s why it’s important. So, if you’ve ever heard me talk about interval training in the past, because some people have said that, it really has to do with a fat burning aspect. It doesn’t have to do with the health benefits.
And I’ll tell you something else when you get into the type of shape, where you can do with three or five minute interval and with three minutes of rest and do that three or four times you are going to be and feel like a different person. You are going to feel like a Superman or Superwoman. And you kind of will be, to be honest, so it’s something you want to shoot for.
So, I want to wrap things up, but I want to go over some practical considerations for adding High Intensity Interval Training into your routine, so you understand what we’re talking about here.
So if you have a heart condition, or if you’ve had a heart attack, if you have congestive heart failure, if you have hypertension, you got to consult your doctor. And if you’ve had a heart attack or any type of stent placed in your heart, I’ve worked with clients like that, get your doctor to put you through cardiac rehab.
And if they don’t want to do that, fire them because they suck. So do that, make sure you’re with a doctor who emphasizes cardiac rehab, because aerobic exercise is the number one thing you can do for your health. The number one thing you can do is get your heart healthy, get your circulatory system healthy. So be with the doctor who’s going to support you in that also be with a trainer or coach who’s going to support you in that, too.
So, if you’re out of shape, overweight, stressed out and sleep deprived, like I mentioned, you need to take it easy before you jump into three minute intervals, or try to do five minute intervals and try to do multiple rounds of that. It’s just crazy and not smart to start that way. But like I said, start small, build up over time. You can try increasing every week – is what I do with my clients, I’ll either increase around or I’ll try to increase the time, depending on the person in the situation.
So, you want to get to the point where you can do three to five rounds of three to five minutes. It’s a great goal to shoot for. And it’s something that you should put into your training, you should work—that should be something to strive for. And like I said, when you get there, you will be a different type of human being.
Make sure you use a heart rate monitor, don’t have acid, do the right thing. It will pay you back in dividends when you start to understand this with all my clients who trained for races, I make them get heart rate monitors, why don’t make them I don’t say, “Listen, I’m going to fire you. If you don’t buy a heart rate monitor right now.” I don’t do that. But I have a I have a persuasive talk with them about it. And it just gets to the point where, “Oh, so I’m not smart if I do this, and I only work with smart people, and they’re all smart. So, it just makes sense.
Otherwise, it’s like you wouldn’t go into a gym and lift weights where there were no numbers on the weights, right? Of course, not. You would be like what’s wrong with this gym?
Well, that’s kind of what you’re doing. If you’re doing cardio and you don’t know anything about your heart rate, your heart rate max, where your heart rates at during exercise, you’re just kind of winging it and winging it doesn’t lead to great results.
Also, I really recommend something like the Oura Ring to measure your resting heart rate, your heart rate variability, you can measure the impact your exercise program has on your sleep and more. It’s just really important. I don’t have any code to give you or anything like that. I get discounts only for my coaching clients. But I will get Harpreet, the CEO of Oura ring on the podcast soon. I’ve been talking with them. Can’t wait to have him on because I am in love with the Oura Ring.
So, if you can squeeze it into your budget, sell your Fitbit, sell your Apple Watch, get yourself an Oura Ring. It’s way better. If you’re using your Apple Watch as a, you know, like a fitness tracker, get rid of those things, sell them on eBay, give him away to someone who’s not that serious about exercise and get yourself an Oura Ring. All right. It’s just absolutely amazing.
So, that’s all I have today. The one last thing I’ll say if you got some joint injuries, you need to be careful as well. You can easily get to the point where you’re like, oh, I’ve got to do high intensity interval ring— interval ring? Still thinking about the Oura Ring here—I’ve got to do high intensity interval training because of all the benefits for my heart. I want to live to 180 years old like Dave Asprey, so I’m going to do the interval training.”
Well, listen, your joints are number one, okay, if you bust up your joints, you’re not even going to be doing low intensity interval training. So, keep that in mind. Be smart about your training, build yourself up over time, don’t do something that’s going to… don’t try to go for the short-term benefit where if you just did it smart, you would be able to condition your joints and muscles and body to handle the stress of High Intensity Interval Training and you would have been in great shape had you just done it the smart way.
All right, that’s the thought I want to leave you with, and of course, if you want me to be your coach and use all the tricks techniques that I’ve mentioned here as well as the all the other ones that I couldn’t squeeze in here because it would be a three hour podcast that no one would listen to, then go to www.legendarylifeprogram.com/apply and book a call, we can talk about your goals and how to get you to be a Superman or Superwoman.
All right, that wraps it up. If you have any questions about this, go to my website www.legendarylifepodcast.com. Or reach out to me on social media. Let me know if you have any questions about this; if I didn’t cover something that you wished I would have covered, or if you want me to do a follow up and go into more detail on this.
Hope you enjoyed the episode. I can’t wait to bring you the next one. I’ve got a lot of great things planned for you. Have an amazing week, and I’ll speak to you soon.
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