Is High-Intensity Interval Training Right for You?

When deciding on a workout routine that is best for you, you’ll want to consider your fitness goals, the current state of your health, and what kind of exercise you enjoy doing. If you enjoy shorter workout routines that combine high intensity activities mixed with periods of moderate rest, high-intensity interval training may be the method for you.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been proven to be better than a regular cardio routine. This training routine gives you an immense boost in the fitness hormone, HGH. Along with other long lasting health benefits, this training program will keep your heart rate high long after you’ve left the gym, burning calories and maximizing your workout benefits.

Any HIIT workout routine will require maximum effort, but will yield the best health and fitness benefits if practiced regularly. There are many different programs you can try, including a Tabata workout that lasts only 10 minutes. HIIT workouts are designed to be short but intense workouts that will test your limits, but be the most beneficial to your overall health improvement.

When you’re first starting out with a high-intensity routine, you’ll want to stretch and warm up for about 5 minutes. You can experiment with the timing, but generally as a beginner you might try working out at your maximum effort for 30 seconds and switching to a slower pace for 90 seconds. repeat this up to 7 times. While working out at such an intense rate, listen to your body. You want to push yourself hard without serious injury. If you’re feeling faint, or something is suddenly strained or popped, immediately slow down and assess your injury. You may only be able to do 2 or 3 repetitions for your first HIIT workout, and that’s okay. It will take time to build up your rep count and achieve fitness goals.

The main thing to remember is to keep working at your HIIT training regimen. Set personal weekly goals that challenge your body and track your progress. using high-intensity workouts 3 or 4 times a week will greatly increase your cardiovascular health and give you lasting health benefits if you continue. Research reputable workout routines to find where your starting point is and keep challenging your body. HIIT training will only be beneficial to your health if you work hard to improve your times. You may be able to do more reps or work out harder and rest for shorter times. There are any number of HIIT workout routines that will help you reach your short and long term health goals.

Here is a HIIT workout for beginners.


Don’t Skip the Free Weights!

DSC_0069Finally! You buckled down and signed up for a gym membership. You strap on your tennis shoes and get a good stretch in. Once you enter the gym though you feel overwhelmed by all the equipment and weights. The only thing that looks familiar is the treadmill so you resort to jogging lazily for a half hour before you decide the coast is clear to sneak out. If you’re new to the gym and feeling a little apprehensive about trying weight training for the first time, you may want to start with free weights.

Using free weights such as dumbbells have amazing benefits and are a great addition to a regular cardio routine. They are some of the most popular workout equipment because of their versatility and targets specific muscle groups all while improving your stabilizing muscles. You won’t regret stepping up to the weight rack and attempting some simple dumbbell workouts to test your strength. It may take some time and experimenting, but everyone can find a free weight routine that will work for them.

Dumbbells are the most versatile piece of equipment in any weight room or gym. You can find at least 70 different exercises to do with just one dumbbell. This one piece of simple equipment will allow you to target all major muscle groups in your body, which is what you will want to achieve with any weight training routine.

Free weights are beneficial to your workout routine because they target your stabilizing muscles. Most dumbbell exercises are done in a standing position, working one side of your body at a time. This helps the smaller muscle groups that help with balance and coordination grow with your larger muscle groups, achieving a more total body workout by the time you’re done. Utilizing your gym’s dumbbell system with consistency will help you tone and build muscle, depending on what your fitness goals are.

A common mistake when using free weights is cheating. It is very tempting to swing your upper body when doing arm exercises with free weights, which is helping you lift the weight, but it not helping your biceps gain muscle. Be sure to keep good posture when doing any free weight exercises. This will help with balance and keep you working the muscles you are targeting with each individual exercise.

Practice caution when beginning your free weight regimen. Take the time to experiment with the right amount of weight for your current muscle strength. You can always do more reps or use heavier weights once you’ve built up your routine. To avoid injury, take your first free weight sessions slow, focusing on your posture and doing the exercise correctly versus lifting the maximum amount of weight you can handle. Consult a physician if you think you may have pulled a muscle or injured yourself in any way while exercising.