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hiit

5 Reasons Why You Should do HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a training technique in which you complete short, intense bursts of cardio exercise followed by a short rest period. People love HIIT because it burns a ton of calories in a shorter period of time, boosts your metabolism and whips you into tip-top shape. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should add HIIT to your workout routine.

  1. Efficient

HIIT workouts are perfect for someone with a busy schedule. 15 minutes of HIIT can be more effective than an hour long job on a treadmill. What’s better? There’s no equipment necessary for HIIT! Squeeze in during your lunch break or wake up 25 minutes early to burn mega calories and improve your cardiovascular fitness level.

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From Our Founder: Why We Love Throwback Fitness

Hanging around

Remember the days when you’d play freeze tag on the playground? While sprinting for your life (or so it felt like), you hardly realized what an incredible cardio workout you were getting. With that in mind, the guys at Throwback Fitness have created a competition-inspired workout program for Booya Fitness.

When they pitched me the workout concept, I immediately thought of couples and roommates who could complete the workout together. Truth be told, I’m not really a competitive person (my friends may disagree here), as I tend to be focused on holding myself to my own benchmarks, not those set by others. That said, I love getting the chance to spend time with friends or a significant other while getting a great workout done.

The Throwback Challenge begins with a time-based challenge. Your goal is to get better and stronger with each round (so keep track of your reps!). If you’re working with a partner, you have a little extra motivation to try to beat them, too.

Coach Brian then transitions to a “deck of cards” challenge. He’ll draw a card and you’ll be expected to complete the exercises in the allotted time period for each round. If you don’t finish a round, you’ll have some penalty burpees to do at the end of the sesson.

All throughout the workout, you’ll hear some great throwback tunes from the 90s. If you have any requests for new tracks you want to hear—let us know! All in all, this is a great HIIT workout. The time literally flies by as you work every muscle group, burn a ton of calories, and hopefully earn some serious bragging rights.

What is High Intensity Interval Training?

Amanda Rose, creator of Warrior Fight Club, shares her insight into the benefits of HIIT or high intensity interval training.

“Although my first love is yoga, I have been incorporating more cardio into my workouts,” says Amanda. “With a history of cardiovascular disease in my family, I understand and respect the need for a healthy heart.”

Considering that the #1 excuse people use for not exercising is lack of time, intervals are a perfect solution. It is quick, effective and to the point.

Interval training incorporates the body’s two energy systems: the aerobic and anaerobic. The aerobic system uses oxygen to convert carbohydrates into energy. When you run or walk for several miles, you are tapping into this system. The anaerobic system draws energy from fuel stored as glycogen in the muscles for short bursts of energy, such as sprinting. This system doesn’t utilize oxygen and cannot provide enough energy for a sustained effort.

sweat abs

Because intervals require both systems, interval training has lots of benefits:

1. Increase calorie burn: The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you burn! But interval training can also cause an “afterburn effect,” where the body burns more calories anywhere from 24 to 48 hours post-workout. So when you are relaxing on the couch, the furnace is still cooking. In addition, it boosts metabolism and builds lean muscle.

2. Improve cardio function: Intervals cause your heart and lungs to become bigger, stronger and able to adjust to sudden intense challenges (like running to catch a bus). Plus, it allows you to exercise longer and with more intensity, which improves your overall athletic performance.

3. Focus on fun: Because intervals are short you’re less likely to become bored. Intervals add a nice variety to traditional workouts, especially since you can vary the intensity level, length of work, rest intervals and number of reps. You can even opt to change the type of exercise by riding a bike, running on a treadmill or even jumping rope. The great thing about interval training is that there is no one way of doing it. Different lengths of work and recovery bring different benefits and challenges, all of which are good.

4. Lessen your time commitment: As I previously mentioned, you can do intervals in a short amount of time. My workouts average 20 to 23 minutes and I am completely spent! I have no excuse to not get it done and neither will you. AsOne’s Deck of Cards and Basic Circuit are particularly good and short as they are under 20 minutes each!

5. Improve your health: Interval training can improve insulin sensitivity, optimize cholesterol levels and decrease blood pressure.

DISCLAIMER: Interval training is tough, so if you’re just starting to work out, spend at least one month working on your stamina with steady intensity cardio workouts before incorporating intervals into your routine.  Add these intervals in slowly and avoid repeating them on consecutive days. Intervals are hard on the body so give yourself ample rest and be sure to practice yoga too!

Booya features some amazing interval training workouts—check out our Bootcamps for guidance from the best trainers in the industry!