HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training RT = Resistance Training or Weights Training
HIIT is defined as bursts of high intensity exercise such as sprints or plyometric movements, in-between bouts of lower intensity exercise. This form of exercise also means that the workload of a 45 minute continuous aerobic training session can be reduced to 15-25 minutes depending on the intensity and length of interval you choose.
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Increased muscular mitochondrial function and numbers (these are the powerhouse cells of our body that produce ATP that gives us energy).
- Increased GLUT 4 levels (the transporter protein that moves glucose into our cells)
- Improved insulin sensitivity (important to maintain normal blood sugar levels)
- Time effective exercise for body fat loss in overweight and obese people
A study by Trapp et al. (2008), a 15 weeks of 3 x 20 minute bouts of HIIT per week, compared to 40 minute steady-state exercise (eg. aerobic/running), in women 18-30yrs old. Results of this study concluded that HIIT led to a significant decrease in central abdominal fat by 9.5%.
The main function of RT is to increase muscle mass, and a definition I like is 'a broad range of movements that produce repeated muscle action against resistances above those encountered in daily life'.
It requires the use of free weights, weights machines and elastic bands, which are used to create movement between one or two joints creating movement of muscle between these joints, which are repeatedly contracted and released.
when we do this we find there are beneficial side affects that accompany it. Some of these are:
- Improves mental health in areas such as mood, cognition and self esteem
- Increased body function, movement and stability
- Increased Resting Energy Expenditure (which means you burn fat while you are not exercising)
- Increased bone density profile
- Increased muscle mass and lowered body fat
Certain populations will benefit dramatically from this exercise and these are menopausal/postmenopausal women, who are at risk of osteoporosis and the elderly who are at risk of muscle wasting. Both of these are reversed during regular weight training sessions.
Regular exercise has a wide range of health benefits which are mentioned above, but ontop of that, whether you exercise alone or in a group, mental health benefits are a major reason to be participating. Improved mood, motivation, self esteem, reduce anxiety, depression are all proven outcomes from regular exercise. It may be hard to get started, but once a routine has been established, it is easy and enjoyable.
By introducing both of these fitness regime's into a regular training program you have a well rounded protocol that will be beneficial to all ages, and along-side a well balanced diet, the goal of weight loss is easily attainable.
Strickland, J. C., & Smith, M. A. (2014). The anxiolytic effects of resistance exercise. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 753.
Teixeira, P. J., Going, S. B., Houtkooper, L. B., Metcalfe, L. L., Blew, R. M., Flint-Wagner, H. G., ... & Lohman, T. G. (2003). Resistance training in postmenopausal women with and without hormone therapy. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 35(4), 555-562.
Trapp, E. G., Chisholm, D. J., Freund, J., & Boutcher, S. H. (2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International journal of obesity, 32(4), 684