If you have resolved to make 2017 the year that you get physically fit, you need a solid game plan to achieve that goal. So often, most people start out thinking they will go to the gym, eat some salad and expect to see fast results. The problem is that getting fit isn’t necessarily that simple, and many can get bored with their workouts, feel deprived of their favorite foods, frustrated they aren’t seeing immediate results, or all of the above. This causes many people throw in the towel and maybe think about retrying once the next New Year rolls around. This year, instead of giving up, try a different approach by adding HIIT to your workout and still “have your cake and eat it too” (in moderation, of course).
What is HIIT?
You know the importance of cardio in your workout. Its purpose is to burn fat and build your endurance. However, cardio workouts can get pretty redundant pretty quickly. 30 minutes at a steady pace repeating the same activity every day…BORING! HIIT can breathe life into your tired cardio workout.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is much more than just your everyday cardio workout. It trains you to do cardio differently. Instead of doing aerobic activity at a sustained pace, you rev up your cardio by alternating fast maximum-intensity periods with slower recovery intervals.
This alternating intensity burns more calories than your average steady cardio workout, and not just during your workout. Your body will experience carryover benefits from this workout for 24 hours afterward. This “afterburn” is attributed to EPOC, excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Studies have shown that this is just as important as the actual calories you burn while working out for losing weight.
Wait…Did Somebody Say Cake?
If part of your fitness goal is weight loss, exercise alone may not be enough to meet that goal. Nutrition that complements your workouts is a key part of helping you lose fat and build lean muscle mass, which in turn can help you lose weight more efficiently.
Many HIIT-friendly diets allow you to indulge in carbs one day a week. This is not simply because they don’t want HIIT-ers to miss out on their favorite snacks. As a general rule, the closer you get to your training, the more you want to up your intake of fast-digesting carbohydrates. HIIT burns through your glycogen stores and if you don’t replenish glycogen stores (by eating fast-digesting carbs), you risk injury or hindering your own progress.
Fast-digesting carbs and proteins help fuel muscle growth and help supply the amino acids necessary for energy and recovery. A good HIIT pre-workout will contain:
For your pre-workout, you won’t need as many carbs as you would if you were strength training. Just grab a quick low-carb snack, like a Best Bar Ever, and your pre-workout and don’t forget to drink plenty of water during your training!
A number of studies have shown that consuming fast-digesting carbs with protein after a workout can drastically improve muscle-protein synthesis, meaning your lean muscle will grow and recover more quickly. You also want to up your fast-digesting carb intake after your workouts to ensure that glycogen stores are repleted. A nourishing post-workout shake should have:
- Whey and casein proteins - Intek Protein Evolution contains both
- Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) - like NutraKey BCAAs
It is also important—especially for active people—to squeeze in protein as often as possible, as it has been shown to help with nearly all aspects of wellness, from building lean muscle mass to losing weight to improving immune function.
Nutritional supplements are an important part of obtaining and maintaining fitness goals. Jax Nutrition carries all of the necessary supplements to adequately nourish your body and help you recover from HIIT workouts. We can assist you by helping you plan your goals and customizing a meal plan that will help you achieve those goals. Stop by one of our two locations to learn more.