Friday, February 6, 2009

Precision Nutrition - Interval Training - Are You Doing It?

A great article on HIIT from Dr. Berardi - the first part is a session he participated in and the second part is an excellent article outlining the way to actually do HIIT workouts.

In case you have been living in a cave, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the single best way to burn fat and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Interval Training - Are You Doing It?

The World Champion Workout

Just last week I spent a few days with UFC World Welterweight Champion, Georges St-Pierre, and his most excellent coaching team of Firas Zahabi, Jon Chaimberg, and Phil Nurse. And while some might say I was lucky enough to sit in on a sparring session and a conditioning session, my lungs might beg to differ.

Georges and Firaz

One afternoon in particular, Jon, GSP’s strength coach, lead a group of us through one pretty intense workout. Indeed, if you think you’re working your intervals hard, try this one on for size.

The Circuit
After a strength training session, finish off with the following circuit of exercises:

20 air squats
20 lunges each leg
20 jump squats
20 split jumps each leg
6 burpees

Note: You’re going to perform this circuit all the way through with no rest. Then, at the end, take about 2 minutes to recover. It won’t be enough. But that’s all you get. Next, repeat the entire thing a second time.

The Sprints
Gasping for air, head over to the treadmill. Set the treadmill at an incline of 15% and a speed of between 6.0 mph and 7.0 mph, depending on your level of fitness.

Sprint for 20 seconds…then…Rest for 10 seconds

Note: you’re going to hop off the treadmill for the rest period and then back on for the next sprint. Repeat this 8 total times for a grand total of 4 minutes of exercise.

The Cab
At the end of your sprints, cry, do everything you can not to vomit, call out for your mommy, call a cab, have someone drive you home. You’re done. And you’ll feel like it.

Interestingly, after getting a good lesson in interval training from Chaimberg, the very next day I received the following from another world-class strength coach, Mike Boyle. (Geez, I’, hooked up.) And here’s his take on interval training.


Interval Training - HIIT or Miss?
by Mike Boyle

I think every fat loss article we read espouses the value of interval training for fat loss. In fact the term HIIT ( for High Intensity Interval Training) is thrown around so much that many people just assume they know what it is. However among all the recommendations I see to perform HIIT, very few articles contain any practical information as to what to do or how to do it.

I have to confess that I stumbled into this area somewhat accidentally. Two different processes converged to make me understand that I might be a fat loss expert and not know it. In my normal process of professional reading I read both Alwyn Cosgrove’s Afterburn and Craig Ballantyne’s Turbo Training. What struck me immediately was that what these experts were recommending for fat loss looked remarkably like the programs we used for conditioning.

At the time I was reading these programs I was also training members of the US Women’s Olympic Ice Hockey team. It seemed all of the female athletes I worked with attempted to use steady state cardio work as a weight loss or weight maintenance vehicle. I was diametrically opposed to this idea as I felt that steady state cardiovascular work undermined the strength and power work we were doing in the weightroom. My policy became “intervals only” if you wanted to do extra work. I did not do this as a fat loss strategy but rather as a “slowness prevention” strategy. However, a funny thing happened. The female athletes that we prevented from doing steady state cardiovascular work also began to get remarkably leaner. I was not bright enough to put two and two together until I read the above-mentioned manuals and realized that I was doing exactly what the fat loss experts recommended. We were on a vigorous strength program and we were doing lots of intervals.

With that said, the focus of this article will be not why, as we have already heard the why over and over, but how.

Read the rest.

1 comment:

thatgirlisfunny said...

Love the title and theme of your blog! I'm just doing research on line about precision nutrition, Dr. John Berardi and GSP. I didn't realize that UFC fighters followed this program. I've been dancing around it since December, but now that I see my favorite fighter is a fan of Precision Nutrition, there's nothing more for me to do than HIIT it! :D