Finding time to get to the gym and exercise can sometimes be hard. Many of us have commitments and scheduling conflicts that can make it impractical to spend hours per week at the gym. However, if you need to get more exercise (which, let’s face it, most of us do) and have limited time, there is a ready-made option for you: high RPM HIIT. Search for a 'RPM class near me' to kick start your journey!
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a bit of a catch all term for training regimens that make use of short, sharp periods of intense exercise spaced out with recovery periods. It can include circuit training, certain types of aerobic exercise, sprint training, and many more styles. However, true HIIT, like Tabata protocols, make use of bursts of high repetitions per minute (RPM) interspersed with much gentler work.
Let’s stick with Tabata protocols, typically performed on upright or spin cycles. You hit a ratio of 20:10 seconds each round, for a total of 30 seconds per round, and perform 8 rounds, for a total of 4 minutes. The 20 seconds are made up of incredibly high RPM, during which time you’ll be looking to bring your heart rate up to 85%+ max, often into the 95%+ range. During the 10 seconds, you will hit a much lower RPM, allowing your legs and lungs a brief respite before going back into it.
But what are the benefits of training in this way? Let’s look at a few of them:
1. HIIT boosts your metabolic rate
HIIT is perfect for boosting your metabolic rate. As an intense form of exercise, you will naturally burn a lot of calories through the training alone. However, any form of exercise that has you training in the 85%+ heart rate zone will bring a significant after burn effect, causing you to continue burning calories for a good few hours post-training.
This style of intense training also shifts your body’s primary energy source away from glycogen and towards body fat, meaning that weight loss will be achieved more efficiently.
Because of the combination of this after burn effect and the shift in energy use, HIIT is a perfect weight loss tool.
2. HIIT works you hard in a short amount of time
This is a big deal for many of us. As mentioned above, it can be very hard to fit exercise into a modern lifestyle. However, with protocols like Tabata taking up as few as four minutes (plus a little extra for warming up beforehand and stretching afterwards), there really is no reason to keep this excuse in place.
You definitely have time enough to train- your training may just need to look a little different.
3. HIIT can help you to build muscle
HIIT goes beyond a simple weight loss tool. It's short time span goes beyond being merely handy. The resistance delivered and fatigue induced through this intense training style can elicit hypertrophy – muscle growth.
Muscle is metabolically demanding, so this increase in muscle growth will also increase your metabolism, putting you into something of a virtuous circle with regards weight loss. The more HIIT you do, the more fat you’ll burn, the more muscle you’ll build, the more fat you’ll burn, the harder you’ll be able to work in HIIT…
Most of your muscular gains will come to the larger muscle groups more typically used during HIIT. These will include the trunk (especially the back), the core and the legs (performing sprints or jumping squats is far more aerobically demanding, thus more suited to HIIT, than say, push ups or pull ups.)
4. HIIT can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and blood sugar levels
The health benefits to be gained from regularly performing HIIT go beyond those tied to simple weight loss and V02 max increase.
Regularly taking your body into the 85%+ heart rate zone using high RPM exercises can reduce resting heart rate and blood pressure, elevated levels for both of which are indicators and/or causes of severe underlying health conditions. This is especially pronounced in overweight individuals. This is because the heart is strengthened by this style of training, meaning that each beat will carry more oxygen, meaning that the heart will have to beat less often.
This isn’t too different to the results seen from traditional forms of steady state cardio like walking, jogging or swimming. However, they are brought about more quickly and efficiently with HIIT, alongside the increase to VO2 max mentioned above. You can gain them, and more, with just a few minutes of training per day.
In addition, blood sugar levels should be significantly reduced after just a three-month period of regular HIIT sessions, and insulin resistance will be improved over and above what traditional training methods offer, which will help to fight against chronic diseases like type II diabetes. Therefore, if you’re overweight and suffering with diabetes as a result, regularly taking part in HIIT (under close medical supervision) may be your ticket to a clean bill of health.
There are plenty of gyms offering HIIT and circuit style fitness classes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi – there has never been a better time to get involved with it.