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HIIT



Are Exercising Mortals Ready for CrossFit Domination in 2014?

High intensity workouts like CrossFit, Insanity and P90X were a phenomenon this past year and now, according to the American College of Medicine’s Sports Fitness Journal, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is expected to be the top calorie-burning trend of 2014. While the popularity has increased, so have subsequent injuries.

Danger of HIIT Exercises

The HIIT workout is one that centers around high intensity exercises immediately followed by a short period of rest or limited activity. For example: A one-minute sprint on the treadmill followed by a 90-second recovery period or jump rope for three minutes followed by a 45-second walking lunge with alternating hand-to-hand kettlebell exchange. Repeat!! Some HIIT workouts can be completed in as little as 20 minutes.

While the variety of exercises and short time commitment can be tempting to those seeking something besides the boring treadmill routine, these workouts aren’t for everyone.  We asked certified personal trainer, Jessica Smith, to give her thoughts on the CrossFit craze. “A good, safe fitness program should be scalable to meet the participants’ fitness levels,” she said. “I’ve seen some programs that do that, and others that really can’t adequately offer modifications that meet all participants needs.”


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Cardio Doesn’t Have to Make You Weak in the Knees: 5 Gentler Approaches to Cardio Exercise

When we think of cardio, running is often the first thing that comes to mind. Running is a great form of exercise, however, it isn’t the right solution for everyone. From beginners who haven’t built a base of strength yet to those with arthritis, high impact movements like running aren’t a good fit.

Cardio, by definition, actually means “from the heart.” Therefore, from an exercise perspective, it is anything that gets your heart rate up. This means there are plenty of low- or no-impact activities you can do to accomplish this goal. Make cardio easier on your knees while still benefiting your heart with these five moves.

kettlebell woman

Walking is a great form of cardio that we already know how to do, but you have to do it briskly or find a way to push yourself. The heart is a muscle and, like your biceps, gets stronger only with challenge. Make your walk more challenging by increasing the incline on the treadmill or wearing a weighted vest on your outdoor walks.

Dance lets you sweat and de-stress. Have you seen the transformations on Dancing with the Stars? If ballroom isn’t your thing, try a hip-hop or swing class. You can always crank up your favorite tunes and get crazy in your living room.
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Sprint to Orangetheory Fitness for a Seriously Sweaty and Worthwhile Workout

When I first heard the name “Orangetheory Fitness,” my mind immediately conjured up images of some kind of old school punk band playing a set in someone’s basement. Boy was I wrong! As it turns out, it’s a rapidly expanding fitness sensation (locations in more than 15 states and 2 Canadian territories) that is taking the continent by storm!

I ventured over to the Naperville, IL location (as I am now a Chicagoland resident) to try out a class to see what it was all about. When I entered I was greeted by a very friendly staff who explained the workings of what was to transpire in class. I was given my own heart rate monitor to wear for the workout to see how hard I’d actually be working.

orange theory fitness
The workout starts with interval training (which I am a HUGE fan of). The first part consisted of Indo Row machines (rowers with water in them for a real rowing effect) and then switching to the box area where we did various strength training moves. This persisted for about a half hour. At first, I was like “Easy Peasy!,” but by the third time around, I was sweating profusely and was feeling the burn!

The second half of the class had us on the treadmills. We did various lengths of intervals, running and jogging, mixed with recovery walks in between. I felt as though I could run a lot harder and faster because we were doing shorter sprints, rather than long drawn out runs. By the end of the second half, I had clocked more than two miles in sprints!
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7-Minute Workouts: High Intensity Interval Training Now Backed by Science

  • Exercise scientists have found that a seven minute, high intensity workout yields the same cardiovascular and muscular results as an extended fitness session, like running for a couple of hours.
  • The exercise program incorporates 12 different workouts, executed in quick succession with less than 30 seconds of rest between bouts, and works to maximize metabolic efficiency.
  • Longer exercise sessions negatively impacted the intensity of a workout, and 15-20 repetitions of an individual fitness bout fulfilled metabolic requirements, according to researchers at the Human Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
  • The 12-step circuit aims to sustain an increased heart rate while burning calories and developing strength in the core, upper, and lower body.
  • The workout can be conveniently completed at home with your own body weight serving as natural dumbbells and your office chair the only equipment required.

Get More Information at: ACSM Health & Fitness Journal, ABC News, Greatist

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Interval Training May be the Best Way to Tone Up

About a year ago, I wanted to drop a few pounds. I began eating healthier and working out daily. My workouts included short strength training series and daily three-mile runs. There was no interval training. I didn’t know what it was.

Then, I decided to get crazy once I learned about workouts like Insanity, which use interval training to completely transform your body. After one month of interval training, I dropped about 10 pounds. I felt healthy and toned.

pullup

Now, I continue to incorporate some intervals into my everyday workout routine. I’ll tell you more and see if it’s a fit for you, too!

What is interval training?

Interval training is the process in which you do short bursts of intense exercise followed by a slightly longer recovery time. A great example of this is sprinting for 30 seconds and then jogging for 60 seconds.
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