Advantages and Disadvantages of Doing HIIT

While we all know that finding the time for our daily exercise is important to everyone, there is much debate about what kind of exercise is best for us. Especially when it comes to cardio training. One of the more popular forms of cardio is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). It comes with its own set of pros and cons, though. Here is what you should know about this time saving workout.

Is HIIT Good for Me?

High intensity interval training has become a buzzword in the fitness industry, gaining momentum in popularity over the past decade. The American College of Sports Medicine published their annual report on most popular activities and HIIT has been in their top ten list or years.

This type of training has been researched often and is considered one of the best forms of exercise someone can do. Like anything else, ease into it, adding it periodically as part of your training routine.

More on HIIT

HIIT consists of shorter more intense sessions using typically 10-60 seconds of work. This is alternated with rest or light activity between bouts (this is where the interval part of the name comes in). HIIT has the potential to elevate your heart rate to 70-90 percent of your maximum heart rate, depending on your current fitness level.

The demand placed on the body for oxygen increases proportionately with the intensity level of your workout. During intense exercise, your body needs more oxygen than breathing can provide. Thie gap between the demand for oxygen in the muscles, and the actual amount of oxygen delivered, is called oxygen debt.

HIIT is considered anaerobic (“without oxygen”) exercise because your body uses more oxygen than it can be supplied. This is why with HIIT, you’ll run out of breath more quickly than traditional steady state cardio exercise. Your muscles will utilize more oxygen (caused by the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles). The rest periods in HIIT are important because it allows your body to clear the lactic acid and restore oxygen levels.

Advantages of HIIT

Here are a few advantages of high intensity interval training that may help you decide if HIIT is right for you.

Shorter Sessions

If you are deciding between HIIT or other long, slow duration cardio, the time factor may be a big key to consider. HIIT sessions are much shorter and more time efficient than typical cardio sessions. This is because the intensity levels are higher so you will become fatigued more quickly.

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)

Unlike with steady state cardio, HIIT workouts help keep your body burning calories long after your session is done because of EPOC. EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, refers to the amount of oxygen required to return the body to its normal metabolic level (called homeostasis). The higher the intensity level, the longer the EPOC will be.

The body has to work hard to restore the oxygen levels up that it lost during the session, which is why you continue to burn calories (and fat) post-workout, even for up to 24 + hours, according to research.

Better for Long-term Fat Loss

While people see great results with steady state aerobic exercise at the start, HIIT has been shown to be better for long-term fat loss results.

Helps with Muscle Retention

One reason why hard core gym goers tend to avoid cardio is that they do not want to lose muscle. HIIT helps retain muscle because it can include movements that activate the muscles the same way that strength training does.

Disadvantages

More Demanding on the Body

Due to the high intensity nature of HIIT, you do place a lot more stress on the body. This also means that there is an increased risk of injury.

Longer Recovery Time

It does take longer to recover from a HIIT workout so due to the physical demands, it can be challenging to complete a HIIT workout every single day so you will have to find alternate workout options in between to give your body a break.

Can be Intimidating for Beginners

It can be intimidating for new gym goers to give it a go at first. It does look intense because it is intense but also very rewarding!

So Should I Choose HIIT?

The final answer does depend on your preference and lifestyle. If you find yourself skipping workouts because you’re dreading the hour-long jog, then try giving HIIT a go. If you hate the intensity of HIIT, then turn to steady state cardio. A good idea, however, would be to do both on alternate days and rotate between the two so that you can reap the benefits of each.

Use the Award-Winning Jefit App for All Your Training Needs

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. Not only does it you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community, it has the largest exercise library that covers both weight training and cardio.

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HIIT or LISS: Which One Will Get Me Better Results?

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While we all know that getting in daily exercise is important to everyone, there is much debate about what kind of exercise is best for us, especially with cardio training. There are two popular forms of cardio HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and LISS (Low Intensity Steady State Cardio). Each has their own pros and cons, so if you are wondering whether to do HIIT or LISS, here is what you should know.

Is HIIT or LISS Better For Me?

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LISS – Low Intensity Steady State Cardio

LISS or Low Intensity Steady State Cardio, is a form of aerobic (“with oxygen”) exercise. This means that improves your oxygen intake. LISS is typically performed for 30-60 minutes at a steady pace with limited changes in speed or intensity. It is referred to as low intensity as you usually only hit 45-65% of your estimated maximum heart rate.

Advantages

If you are comparing HIIT or LISS, LISS is advantageous in a number of areas.

Less demanding on the body

Because it is low intensity, it is less demanding on the body. It is also easier on the joints, tendons and ligaments.

Less injury risk

It also means that the risk of injury is also much lower than other alternative forms. You are moving at a steadier pace so you are not pushing yourself too hard, with can be hard on the body.

Better at initial fat burn

One of the best benefits of LISS is that it is better at fat burning than HIIT, initially. You use the fat stored in your body as the primary source of energy as opposed to glycogen. This is why when people start doing LISS, they see great results.

Disadvantages

However, there are some downfalls that might mean turning to other forms of cardio for the results that you want.

Longer sessions

While the sessions themselves are not as taxing as HIIT, this means that your workouts will be much longer; you are not using as much energy as fast. If you are busy or don’t have much time, LISS may not be the best option for you.

Less motivated to workout

Following on from that, because the sessions are longer, you may be less motivated to actually get started in the first place.

Only burns calories during the workout

Another downfall of LISS is that you only burn calories while you are doing the workout. Unfortunately, once your session is done, you will not continue to burn calories afterwards.

The body adapts quickly to LISS

While I mentioned that LISS is great for fat burning initially, the keyword here was initially. This is because your body will quickly adapt to your LISS workouts, meaning that the once-great results you may have seen at the start will not last long.

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

On the other hand of the spectrum is HIIT aka High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT has become a buzzword in the fitness industry, gaining momentum in popularity.

HIIT consists of shorter more intense sessions of 10-60 seconds of work. This is alternated with rest or light activity time (this is where the interval part of the name comes in). HIIT brings your heart rate up to 70-90% of your maximum heart rate.

Unlike LISS, HIIT is anaerobic (“without oxygen”) exercise because your body uses more oxygen than it can be supplied. This why with HIIT, you will run out of breath more quickly and your muscles will burn (caused by the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles). The rest periods in HIIT are important because it allows your body to clear the lactic acid and rebuild oxygen levels.

Advantages

Here are some advantages of high intensity interval training that may help you decide between HIIT or LISS.

Shorter sessions

If you are deciding between HIIT or LISS, the time factor may be a big key to consider. HIIT sessions are much shorter and more time efficient than LISS sessions. This is because the intensity levels are higher so you will become fatigued quite quickly.

Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)

Unlike with LISS, HIIT workouts help keep your body burning calories long after your session is done because of EPOC. EPOC, or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, refers to the amount of oxygen required to return the body to its normal metabolic level (called homeostasis).

The body has to work hard to rebuild the oxygen levels up that it lost during the session, which is why you continue to burn calories and fat post-workout, even for up to 24 hours.

Better for long-term fat loss

While people see great results with LISS at the start, HIIT is better for long-term fat loss results.

Helps with muscle retention

One reason why people tend to avoid cardio is that they do not want to lose muscle. HIIT helps with retaining muscle because it includes weight training and movements that activate the muscles the same way that strength training does.

Disadvantages

More demanding on the body

Due to the high intensity nature of HIIT, you do place a lot more stress on the body. This also means that there is an increased risk of injury.

Longer recovery time

It does take longer to recover from a HIIT workout so due to the physical demands, it can be challenging to complete HIIT workout every single day so you will have to find alternate workouts in between to give your body a break.

Can be intimidating for beginners

It can be intimidating for new people to give it a go at first. It does look intense because it is intense but also very rewarding!

So Should I Choose HIIT or LISS?

The final answer does depend on your preference and lifestyle. If you find yourself skipping workouts because you’re dreading the hour-long jog, then try giving HIIT a go. If you hate the intensity of HIIT, then turn to LISS. A good idea, however, would be to do both on alternate days and rotate between the two so that you can reap the benefits of each.

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep track of their fitness goals. Not only does it give you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community, it has the largest exercise library that covers both weight training and cardio.

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Fitness Industry Trends for 2021 According to ACSM

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As we transition into mid-year, Jefit wanted to take a look at the healthy and fitness industry trends. Each year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) publishes their results on the top industry trends. The survey has occurred the last fifteen years and includes more than 4,000 industry professionals across various disciplines.

No surprise that after a long, pandemic year, with many stuck at home, online training earned the top spot. Other top trends include, online training, outdoor activities and virtual training making top 10 debuts. Previous years top choices, wearable tech and high-intensity interval training (top five since 2014) made the top 5. Bodyweight training, fitness programs for older adults (top 10 since 2007) also maintained popularity again for 2021.

  • Online Training: Developed for the at-home exercise experience, this trend uses digital streaming technology to deliver group, individual or instructional exercise programs online. Online training is available 24/7 and can be a live or prerecorded class.
  • Wearable Technology: Includes devices like fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices that can count steps and track heart rate, body temperature, calories, sitting time and sleep time.
  • Body Weight Training: Uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.
  • Outdoor Activities: Include small group walks, group rides and organized hiking groups. Participants can meet in a local park, hiking area or on a bike trail for short events, daylong events or planned weeklong hiking excursion.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. Despite concerns expressed by some fitness professionals, these 30-minute or less sessions continue to be a popular form of exercise around the world.
  • Virtual Training: This fusion of group exercise with technology offers workouts designed for ease and convenience to suit schedules and needs and is typically played in gyms on the big screen.
  • Exercise is Medicine®: This global health initiative by ACSM encourages health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated referrals to certified fitness professionals in the community as part of every patient visit.
  • Strength Training with Free Weights: Instructors focus on teaching proper form for exercises using barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells and/or medicine balls. Resistance progressively increases as correct form is accomplished.
  • Fitness Programs for Older Adults: As Baby Boomers age into retirement, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.
  • Personal Training: One-on-one training continues to be a strong trend as the profession of personal training becomes more accessible online, in health clubs, in the home and in worksites that have fitness facilities. Personal training includes fitness testing and goal setting with the trainer working one-on-one with a client to prescribe workouts specific to individual needs.

Try Jefit app, named best app for 2020 and 2021 by PC MagazineMen’s HealthThe Manual and the Greatist. The app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner and training log. Take advantage of Jefit’s exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Try one of the new interval-based workouts and add it to your weekly training schedule. Stay strong with Jefit as you live your fitness lifestyle.

Reference

ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. 2021 – Volume 25(1): 10-19, doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000631

Visit ACSM.org for additional information

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Here Are The Highest Calorie Burning Exercises to Choose

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The following article takes a look at the best movements to choose when you want to use the highest calorie burning exercises. There are many exercises that are available to you when working out from home or the gym. But what are the best options from a high caloric expenditure stand point? We have looked through the research and various articles to bring you that list.

These types of exercises are great individually or when mixed into a circuit or high-intensity training session. Obviously, the heavier the person, the higher the caloric expenditure per minute of exercise. Just a reminder when you look over this and other types of data like this.

Various Factors Affecting Calorie Burn

There are many factors that go into determining how many calories someone expends during exercise. Here is a great article on that topic by Robert Robergs, PhD and Len Kravitz, PhD. Here are eight factors, many of which you can manipulate, that will influence your calorie burn.

*Bodyweight

Basically, the more you weigh, the greater amount of calories you expend during exercise. Pretty simple.

*Type of Exercise

Cardio-based workouts typically involve higher calorie burning exercises. They usually burn more calories than other types of workouts like strength training or doing yoga. The key word here is intensity. Finally, there can be a different outcome with a well-designed exercise program. See the study, found below, by Falcone and colleagues reporting a HIIT session out performing a cardio workout involving men as test subjects.

*Exercise Intensity

The higher the intensity, the more calories you end up burning per minute. If I can get all exercise physiology on you for a moment…for every liter of oxygen you consume during exercise you expend about 5 calories. Keep in mind, the harder you breathe during activity, the greater the oxygen intake resulting in a higher caloric expenditure. Not to mention an elevated EPOC hours after your exercise is done.

*EPOC

Stands for excess post oxygen consumption. The higher the exercise intensity, the higher the “after burn.” Meaning, your body continues to expend calories long after the workout is finished. For this to happen, though, it has to be a very heavy lifting day or a HIT type workout. The intensity needs to be very high during the workout. As in, you couldn’t carry on a conversation because you’re breathing so hard.

*Compound Movements

When you perform a total body movement like a deadlift or push press exercise, you’ll burn more calories than say a concentrated biceps curl.

*Men Typically Burn More Calories than Women

This is simply a result of most men having a higher percentage of muscle mass than most women. This is not always the case however. Over the years I have run stadium stairs with female Olympic and college athletes. I can attest, some female athletes can out do any guy… it can be a truly humbling experience!

*Current Fitness Level

There are many benefits to living a healthy lifestyle. Staying in great shape allows an individual to work harder in their workouts and in turn, elicit a greater calorie burn during exercise.

*Your Age

The older the person, the less calories they burn in a given period of time. This is due to muscle mass. As we age we lose muscle and this affects metabolic rate and calorie burn.

Highest Calorie Burning Exercises for Short Duration

A Men’s Journal article compared four different activities, using a 5-minute testing period, to rank the highest caloric expenditure.  The four different exercises included: body-weight exercises, jogging, swinging a kettlebell, and jumping rope.  All are great forms of exercises and you need minimal equipment to perform each exercise. They determined jumping rope was number one, when it came to a 5-minute workout, burning 79 calories while the body weight exercises, consisting of push-ups and pull-ups, came in fifth using 51 total calories.

Jumping rope is a great training tool and should be used more prior to a workout. To continue on the topic of jumping rope, it has been reported that 10-minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to jogging for 30-minutes. Interesting numbers, though, especially the kettlebell swings being higher than pushing and pulling your body weight for 5-minutes. This was probably due to the subject getting more total swings with a kettlebell during the 5-minute period.

1st – Jumping Rope (79 calories/5-minutes)

2nd – Swinging a Kettlebell (63 calories/5-minutes)

3rd – Jogging (53 calories/5-minutes)

4th – Push-Up & Pull-Up combo (51 calories/5-minutes)

Men’s Journal

Here are a few great activities that the next study can hopefully look at. Compare the effects of 5-minutes of cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing, jogging up hill, HIIT using a bike or rower, an Assault bike (Schwinn Air-Dyne), Concept 2 Cross-Country Ski, CLMBR, and stadium stair running.

Some of the Highest Calorie Burning Exercises for Longer Duration

There was another report that I came across, with somewhat different results, that looked at calories burn for 10 to 30-minutes of activity. The group used an energy calculator from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). The study did acknowledge that every body is different and while one routine may work well for one person it might not be as efficient for another. Here are the results from that particular study. Keep in mind these numbers were based individuals who weighed only 130-pounds.

1st – Running/Jogging – 206 calories per 30-minutes

2nd – Hiking – 176 calories per 30-minutes.

3rd – Biking/Cycling – 5.5 mph – 117 calories per 30-minutes

4th – Jumping Rope – (fast pace) – 115 calories per 10-minutes*

5th – Walking (moderate pace) – 97 calories per 30-minutes

6th – Weightlifting – 88 calories per 30-minutes

CNET

Obviously, if you are are 200-pound male, these numbers would be significantly higher. Again, the different calorie outputs for jumping rope (for 5 and 10 minutes) most likely, had do to bodyweight and speed of jumping (i.e., pace or rpm or # of toe taps).

In one last article, Harvard Medical School reported calorie burn for over 100 different activities. The group looked at the difference in calorie burn for 30-minutes of activity for 125, 155 and 185-pound individuals. They also did not report if they were men or women, or how much lean muscle they had, so keep that in mind. They just looked at overall bodyweight.

What The Exercise Research Says

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by Falcone and colleagues, compared the energy expenditure of single exercise sessions using resistance, aerobic, and combined exercise involving the same duration. The test subjects were young, active men. All sessions were 30-minutes. The resistance training session used 75 percent of their 1-RM, the aerobic session, on a treadmill, used 70 percent maximum heart rate. The high-intensity interval session (HIIT) session was done on a hydraulic resistance system (HRS). The HRS workout used intervals of 20-seconds of maximum effort followed by 40-seconds of rest. The HIIT session using the HRS had the highest caloric expenditure of the three workouts. The data suggest that individuals can burn more calories performing HIIT with HRS than spending the same amount of time performing steady-state exercise.

A 2012 study at Colorado State University found that test subjects who worked out on a stationary bike for less than 25 minutes, with just a few sprints mixed in, expended an additional 200 calories a day, due to excess-post oxygen consumption (EPOC) or commonly known as the after-burn effect.

The Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise reviewed interval training. Subjects exercised using high-intensity intervals. The total amount of calories expended one-hour post workout was 107 percent more than low-intensity, short duration exercise. And 143 percent more than with low intensity, long duration exercise! That’s because interval exercise peaking at levels above a 70 percent maximum-intensity effort, speeds up metabolism for up to three hours after exercise – a benefit not found with low-intensity exercise.

Hopefully this article sheds more light on this topic regarding the best exercises to choose when the main interest is high calorie burn.

Stay Strong With Jefit

Join the millions of members who have had great success using the Jefit app. The award-winning app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

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Micro Exercise: What is it and More Importantly, Can it Get Us in Better Shape?

Fitness Progress

Approximately 80 percent of adults and adolescents in this country are insufficiently active. We know that physical activity (PA) promotes optimal growth and development. As a result, it allows people to feel, function, perform and even sleep better. There is an abundance of research that shows PA can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Moreover, individuals who “are physically active for about 150-minutes a week have a 33 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality than those who are physically inactive, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. But the question you need to ask is, how long does one really need to engage in exercise each day? What is the minimal dose effect we need to stay improve health? Can micro exercise fit the need here?

“Physical inactivity is as harmful to your health as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.” 

~ Steven Blair, PhD, University of South CArolina

What is Micro Exercise Exactly?

Micro exercise has been described as any physical activity or a short workout that takes between 3 and 10 minutes to complete. Included in the description of what constitutes micro exercise are walking, stair-climbing, household chores and doing many of the traditional bodyweight exercises such as squats, push-ups, planks, lunges and burpees. In fact, a study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism “found three bouts a day of vigorous stair workouts done three times a week was highly effective at improving cardiovascular health.” The Harvard Alumni study also found that men who average at least eight flights a day of stairs enjoy a 33 percent lower mortality rate compared to men who are sedentary. If sedentary individuals add more of these activities throughout their day and repeat them, three to five times for 3 to 10-minutes per day, it could have, as research contends, similar health advantages to HIIT.

Will Micro Exercise Actually Get Us in Better Shape?

Research has shown short, intense bouts of exercise between 3 and 10-minutes, added throughout the day, can in fact improve health. The one caveat is, it has to total 30-minutes before you place your head down on your pillow for bedtime.

A Few Micro Exercises Ideas to Try

  • Conference call walks throughout the day or JFW (Just F—ing Walk) 
  • Skip the elevator and say hello to stairs
  • Bodyweight exercises added throughout the day (burpees, lunges, jumping jacks, T-push-ups, squat jumps, plank, etc.)
  • Add in yoga moves like the crow, one-leg stances or lunch with rotation
  • Take a short ElliptiGo SUB (stand up bike) at lunch time (I have one it’s a great workout)
  • Jump rope for 3-4 minutes
  • You get the idea…

Lastly, the next time you see a flight of stairs, make sure you climb them. Try to jog a bit while walking the dog or possibly add-in a 3-minute plank before you shower. Mixing in a few additional bouts of short, intense activity – throughout your day – like those mentioned here will most definitely improve your health and fitness. Keep micro exercise at the forefront of your mind as a secondary fitness option. Nothing obviously can replace your regular strength training workouts. Stay strong!

References

Jenkins, E. M., Nairn, L. N., Skelly, L. E., Little, J. P., & Gibala, M. J. (2019). Do stair climbing exercise “snacks” improve cardiorespiratory fitness?. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 44(6), 681-684.

Fitness Progress

Tabata: The Best Workout You’re Most Likely Doing Wrong

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First, some background on the well-known Tabata workout. The workout almost ended up having a name other than Tabata associated with it. The Japanese researcher did not design the exercise protocol he just showed how good it was at improving work capacity in athletes. The head coach of the Japanese speed skating team brought in Izumi Tabata, PhD, to work with the team back in the 1990’s. The coach wanted Dr. Tabata to analyze the efficacy of their training program. The training program used short 20-second bouts of high intensity exercise with brief 10-second rest periods. It was Dr. Tabata who subsequently showed the world, through his research, how effective this type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) actually was.

Misunderstanding in a Tabata Workout is Intensity Level

To begin with, most individuals end up performing a Tabata protocol incorrectly because they choose a low intensity. Looking back at the original research published in 1996 by Dr. Tabata you can see that his original training intensity was very high.

ATHLETE GROUP 1

Subjects pedaled on a cycle ergometer for 60-minutes at a moderate intensity (70 percent of VO2 max). This is comparable to a long, slow jog. Subjects were male amateur athletes in their mid-twenties. Subjects exercised 5 hours a week. The anaerobic capacity did not change. The VO2max increased significantly during the training in this group.

ATHLETE GROUP 2

Subjects pedaled for 20-seconds, followed by 10-seconds of rest, repeated 7-8 times for 4-minutes. This was performed at a maximal effort. The key word here is maximal, subjects worked at 170 percent of VO2 max. Subjects exercised 20-minutes a week. Anaerobic capacity increased by 23 percent after 4 wk of training. It increased further toward the end of the training period. After the training period, anaerobic capacity reached 77 ± 9 ml/kg/min. or 28 percent higher compared to pre-training capacity.

Both subject groups performed the exercise protocol for 6-weeks. During that time, subjects worked out either 5 days a week for a total of 5 hours a week or 20 minutes. After the training period, aerobic capacity or VO2max increased by 7 ml/kg/min. while anaerobic capacity improved by 28 percent.

Tabata Workout Protocol

The athletes used in the early work of Dr. Tabata were tested on a cycle ergometers. Therefore, certain exercises like a plank typically don’t elicit a high enough training intensity. Jump squats, on the other hand, work nicely because more muscle mass is involved. Finally, to mimic a true Tabata protocol, select exercises that utilize a large percentage of muscle mass not isolation type movements. A couple of suggested cardio products that would work are explosive bodyweight exercises, rowing ergometer, versa climber or running stairs.

Tabata Protocol

  • Warm-up (suggested time 5:00) – Use a 2:1 work-to-rets ratio x 8 rounds
  • 20-seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work
  • 10-seconds rest
  • 20-seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work
  • 10-seconds rest
  • 20-seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work
  • 10-seconds rest
  • 20-seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work
  • 10-seconds rest
  • 20-seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work
  • 10-seconds rest
  • 20-seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work
  • 10-seconds rest
  • 20-seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work
  • 10-seconds rest
  • 20-seconds of HIGH INTENSITY work
  • 10-seconds rest
  • Cool-down (suggested time: 5:00)

14-minute total time, 4:00 High Intensity work

The idea is to complete as many repetitions of the exercise or movement in 20-seconds, rest briefly for 10-seconds and repeat this format 8 times. Lastly, the idea is to repeat the same exercise or movement or choose different exercises for each round.

Use the Jefit App to Build, Log & Track Your Workouts

The Jefit app now has the ability to perform and log interval based workouts like Tabata Protocol. Stay Strong!

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Workout Review: Strength & Cardio Circuit

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We all know that exercise is like medicine for the body. There are times though when you just want to move through your workout in minimal time. This where a good strength and cardio circuit comes into play. This is why circuit training is so efficient, it combines the perfect blend of strength and cardio in minimal time. The end result is usually the same, a great full-body workout and a body covered in sweat!

The cool thing about circuit programs are: they’re fast, fun and very effective at getting results. You never get bored because there are so many design options for a circuit routine. The featured strength & cardio circuit can now be found on the Jefit app.

What is Circuit Training?

Circuit training is training method that alternates between several exercises (usually 4 to 12) that target different muscle groups. A plan can even use different movement patterns (like push, pull, press, carry, etc.). The design of the program enables someone to move from exercise to exercise with minimal or no rest depending on their fitness level. Some of the many benefits of regular circuit training include improvements in body composition, muscular strength/endurance and aerobic capacity.

What is Interval Training?

Interval training, on the other hand, alternates between periods of moderate-to-high-intensity work with brief periods of active or passive rest. The main difference between circuit training and interval training is not what you’re doing but rather the intensity of the work being done. You have probably heard about HIIT (high-intensity interval training) before or seen it in some of the workout titles on the Jefit app.

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Equipment Need: Jump Rope, Weight Plate and Dumbbells

Circuit Design: UB/LB/Core/Cardio Sequence

The circuit session begins with four exercises group together following a brief warm-up. The session design alternates between an upper body exercise, a lower body exercise, and a core exercise before transitioning to cardio for 1-2 minutes. The program features 20 exercises (including four for warm-up) that comprise four rounds of “mini” circuits with four exercises in each group.

Here is what each of the four circuits (after the warm-up) look like in this latest Jefit circuit workout:

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I have personally been doing circuits for many years now and, like a lot of people, working through one never seems to gets old. In any event, circuits are fun and get great results, so why not give one a try for your next workout?

ADDITIONAL READING:

HIGH-INTENSITY CIRCUIT TRAINING USING BODY WEIGHT: Maximum Results With Minimal Investment, ACSM Health & Fitness Journal, 2013.

Whole-Body Aerobic Resistance Training Circuit Improves Aerobic Fitness and Muscle Strength in Sedentary Young Females, J. of Strength & Conditioning, 2015.

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