Your time is valuable. Which is why when you go to the gym, it's smart to have an effective workout that maximizes what you can accomplish. At Bergeron Personal Training, we have developed a workout approach using NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) principles combined with our 10 years of personal training experience to you the results you want at any fitness level.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which means you alternate between exercises that increase your heart-rate with exercises that allow some recovery. There are several reasons this is incredibly effective.
1) Higher Net Calorie Burn
If you compared the net effect of an hour of HIIT training vs an hour of cardio, you would find that you burn more calories with HIIT long-term. By forcing your body to constantly adapt during the workout, you don't achieve homeostasis and coast. When you exercise, your body wants to be as efficient as possible, which, believe it or not, means it wants to burn the LEAST amount of calories it can. Maintaining a consistent heart rate during exercise does that. Your body figures out the bare minimum it needs to do and locks in to that burn. When you vary the heart rate during the workout, you have a higher EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). That's a fancy way to say you continue to burn calories at a higher rate even after the workout is over. This is ideal for fat loss! Even though you may burn more calories in that one hour of cardio, over the next few days you will have burned more net calories with the HIIT workout as your metabolism is still working at that higher rate.
2) Cardiovascular Improvement
If your workouts consist of only doing strength training (which can be largely anaerobic) or steady-state cardio (aerobic), you are not training your cardiovascular system as well as you could be. By combining your strength training with short bouts of cardio exercise, your heart and lungs work harder to adjust to the varying degree of exertion. This increases your ability to return to a normal heart rate quicker after exercise and have an overall lower resting heart rate.
3) Active Recovery
By alternating the muscle groups you are working, you don't waste time. We've all seen that guy at the gym who does one set of bench press then sits on his phone and checks Facebook for a few minutes then does another set. That's a huge waste of time. Not to mention, annoying to other gym goers and personal trainers wanting to use that bench. By doing a leg exercise like squats or lunges in between sets of bench press, you are allowing your chest and arms to rest as your legs are working. You can stay moving for your entire workout! This is also known as a circuit style training.
A compound exercise is any exercise that incorporates two or more joints vs an isolation exercise which uses one. Here are some examples:
Compound: Bench press (elbow and shoulder)
Squats (knees and hips)
Overhead Press (elbows and shoulder)
Isolation: Curls (elbows)
Leg Extensions (knees)
The majority of the exercises we do with clients consist of compound exercises. There are several reasons for this:
1) More Functional
In real life, almost any activity we do is a
compound movement. We rarely pick something up like we would do a curl in a gym. Compound movements are functional which helps keep you from getting injured in the real world. This also develops the stabilizing and synergistic muscles. Concentrating on isolation exercises only will prevent your muscles from developing strength working together with the surrounding muscle groups.
2) Saves time
You have approximately 700 skeletal muscles in the human body. If all you did were isolation exercises, you would never leave the gym (yes, many of these muscles work in groupings, but you get the idea). Compound exercises save time and hit several major muscle groups at once.
How Do We Know?
At Bergeron Personal Training, we conduct circumference and body fat measurements every 6 weeks for our clients that want to change their physique. From losing fat, to gaining muscle, we take pride in being able to help them set meaningful goals and then achieve them. If you would like more information or would like to begin getting the best hour-long workout, schedule your complimentary assessment today.
Ramsey Bergeron owns and operates Bergeron Personal Training in Scottsdale, AZ. He is an NASM CPT, 7 time Ironman, and former spokesperson for a national supplement company. He has been seen in Men's Health Magazine among other periodicals and over 40 million newspapers across the country. He is also an expert contributor to various online fitness articles. He also founded Bergeron Adventure Travel which he uses to motivate clients to by preparing them for and leading them on hikes and trips around the world. Having led groups over the Inca Trail in Peru and the Milford Sound in New Zealand, he is currently planning a trip for his clients in 2018 to hike the Lysefjord in Norway.