High-intensity training for spot reduction?
How can I reduce just my belly?
“But I only want to reduce belly fat”. “My arms, Roshni! Do something only to help me tone my arms”. Oh if I were to get a tad bit of a bitcoin for every time someone asked me to help them with spot reduction!
Well, spot reduction is a myth, we all know that. But can any form of training help with spot toning?
Turn’s out yes! But before we dig into this, let’s understand the concept of HIIT.
What is HIIT?
HIIT or high-intensity interval training is when you train at intensities 60- 80% above your base heart rate.
Normally, a full HIIT workout regime can range from 10 to 30 minutes in duration. And the duration of each intense exercise may range from around 30 seconds to a few minutes. This is followed by few seconds of rest or some gentle low-intensity exercise for a shorter duration. This cycle is repeated for the entire period of the workout regime.
Although this type of workout is for a short duration and might sound easy, it is still capable of providing excellent results and health benefits.
For example, as a beginner, running as fast as you can for 1 minute and walking for 2 minutes, and repeating this set five times for 15 minutes seems like an easy routine, but trust me, it’s not!
But not any type of a HIIT routine helps with spot toning…
The specific routine which I use to train my clients for spot toning is Tabata.
Tabata is when you pick a cardio- acceleration based exercise and perform the exercise for 20 seconds at your maximum speed. Then take a 10-seconds break to catch your breath. You repeat 8 such rounds, or, totaling 4 minutes.
The exercise you choose must be for the muscle group you want to tone.
For example, I would choose squat jumps for legs and for arms, I would choose the battle ropes:
I would also repeat 4-5 Tabata sessions with clients per week, post-workout.
What does science say?
The positive health benefits of HIIT exercises have been studied extensively over the past years. A study tried to examine and compare the calories burned during 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running, and biking. It found that HIIT burned 25% to 30% more calories than the other forms of exercise.
The participants in this study were gaining this benefit even by exercising HIIT only for 1/3rd of the time as compared to other forms.
Another study reviewed the cardiac health benefits of HIIT exercises over a 10-week program. It found that in just 10 weeks, HIIT workouts resulted in cardiovascular and metabolic benefits that were similar to those of moderate-intensity workouts, but in a much shorter duration.
Include Tabata into your routine and see the difference it makes!
Trust this helps,
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