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HIIT your way to those Wedding dress goals!

High Intensity Interval Training, often referred to as HIIT, has become a popular method of exercise over the past few years especially for Brides and Grooms that are about to tie the knot.  HIIT is a exercise performed at high intensity, often 80% of your maximum heart rate or more for any length of time.  This length of time can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as several minutes.  The purpose of this training is to elevate your heart rate to a level where you feel the exercise is anywhere from hard to extreme, or a level where holding a conversation would be very challenging.  Usually the high intensity work is paired with some sort of rest.  This rest can be a portion of the work time,  like a 2:1 ratio (Ex. 1 minute of work and 30 seconds to rest or 1:1 ratio with a  20 seconds work and 20 seconds rest).   The rest may involve light movement resulting in a level of 50% of your maximum heart rate to no movement at all.   The exercise may consist of anything from push ups, sit-ups, running, biking or anything in between.  Anything to get the body moving and the heart rate elevated can be used in HIIT.   

The benefits of HIIT are favorable as well.  It does not require a lot of equipment which is a great way to workout at home before the big day.  It can also be done in a short amount of time and the calories burned are greater compared to that of consistent intensity exercise.  This means the moves you choose can work specific muscle groups to help you reach your wedding dress goals that much faster.  A phenomenon known as EPOC or Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption is greater after HIIT compared to continuous exercise.  During EPOC which normally lasts around 2 hours after exercise, is the body resets itself back to pre-exercise levels.  When HIIT is done it takes much longer, up to 6 hours, to restore levels back to normal and thus, more calories are burned.  So you’re getting more bang for your buck and getting your body ready for those Honeymoon photos.  HIIT is also shown to have great effects on improving blood pressure, lowering body fat, body weight, cardiovascular fitness, insulin sensitivity, and cholesterol levels.  Perhaps the best part of all of this is it is suitable for just about any population whether you have been exercising for a long time or are looking to get back into it.  

If you’re new to exercise I recommend  that you use longer rest intervals and pick movements that are more suitable for you such as step-ups and hill sprints.  If you have some experience you can increase the work time and use movements that are more challenging like box jumps and kettlebell swings.  The options are very much endless, as long as you are moving your body.   So next time you are considering something new to add to your wedding workout routine pick a couple movements and do them fast, do them continuously, and get a good sweat on.


Thank you to Bells and Barbells trainer, Dylan Marsh for this weeks blog post!