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High intensity interval training (HIIT) is so effective that it doesn’t need to be done every single day. In fact, you can incorporate a session of HIIT in your normal workouts without having to deviate too much from your training plan.
Let’s look at a few ways to add some HIIT in your normal workouts.

1. Short bursts of speed during the cardio sessions

Let’s assume that you love your steady state cardio and spend 45 minutes on a stationary bike. While steady state cardio does burn calories during the workout itself, once you get off the bike, the calorie burning will taper off and stop.
HIIT, however, will raise your heart rate into the maximum heart rate zone. When this happens, your body will enter a state known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Your body will be in calorie burning mode for hours after the workout session ends.
That means, you’ll burn more calories overall and lose weight faster. To incorporate HIIT into a normal steady state cardio session, you only need to ‘go hard’ during the last 10 or 15 minutes.
Following the earlier example, it will mean that during the last 10 minutes of your stationary bike session, you will go all out and give it your best effort. So, you will cycle as fast as you can for 1 minute and rest for 1 minute. Do this 5 times and your last 10 minutes will be exhausting.
You’ll be perspiring like crazy. Your heat rate will be up and you will be in fat burning mode for 10 to 14 hours. This is how you add HIIT to a normal cardio session. It could be a treadmill session or swimming. Whatever it is, the last 10 or 15 minutes MUST be executed with maximum effort. There must be no gas left in your tank.

2. Short HIIT bursts during weight training

The same applies to weight training/resistance training. Instead of slow, controlled repetitions, spend the last 10 or 20 minutes doing reps as fast as you can with good form. It’s important to note that you must NEVER sacrifice form for speed. Jerky, haphazard reps might leave you injured and they’re just not effective for building strength.
With good form, you may wish to do your push-ups or deadlifts or lunges with speed and minimal rest between sets. If you do lunges at full-speed for 45 seconds, you’ll rest for 15 seconds and move on to the next exercise and so on. Try and keep it a full-body workout.

3. Twice a week will do

If you’re doing steady state cardio 4 times a week, just remove 2 sessions and replace them with HIIT workouts. For example, steady state on Monday, HIIT on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday and Thursday. HIIT on Friday and steady state on Saturday.
The HIIT sessions are so draining and effective that you only need about 2 or 3 sessions a week to get in shape. In fact, even if you got rid of all 4 steady state cardio and stuck to two 20-minute HIIT sessions, you’d probably get the same results or even better. You could do resistance training on the other two days.

4. Do the right exercises

Focus on compound movements like pull-ups, snatches, mountain climbers, deadlifts, squats, lunges, etc. These are exercises that work several muscle groups at once. If you create a set with 4 or 5 of these different exercises and did them fast with minimal rest, not only will you get a cardio workout but you’ll also train and tone your muscles.
HIIT done in this manner is very effective. Truth be told, HIIT sessions that use resistance training are more effective than those that only use cardio. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone.
Women need to focus on muscles like the thighs, butt and arms. These areas are especially important if you wish to develop a lithe and toned shape that looks attractive in whatever you wear. So, focus on compound exercises.
Bicep curls and calf raises are isolation exercises. No matter how fast you do them, they’re not going to be as effective. The load and intensity of your HIIT workout will determine how effective it is. So, incorporate HIIT in your training regimen and watch your performance improve and your excess pounds melt away in no time at all.

4 Ways Women Can Incorporate HIIT in Their Workouts

Latest Update: Monday, March 18, 2019

One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to exercising is the aches and stiffness you feel roughly around 24 hours after your workout.
This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
The symptoms are usually pain in your muscles when you move and your muscles may feel weak and tender.
This is normal and nothing to be worried about. Women who have led sedentary lifestyles for a while will experience this in the beginning. In fact, both genders are susceptible to DOMS and it is part and parcel of working out.
Over time as your body gets used to the activity, you will not become sore unless you increase your training load and intensity. As long as your training is hard and there are micro tears in the muscle fibers, there will be pain.
You must be able to distinguish the difference between muscle soreness from cramps or muscle strains and pulls. DOMS is just discomfort that arises from inflamed muscles that are healing. Your body will not be in pain if you’re not moving. Muscle soreness is felt only when you move.
Cramps, however, are sudden pain spasms that arise due to a contraction of muscle fibers. The best way to treat cramps is to stretch the muscle. Massaging and stretching a cramped muscle will ease the pain.
The same does not apply to muscle soreness. Stretching before workouts, muscle rub creams, massages, ice baths, etc. cannot prevent muscle soreness. They may provide temporary relief but you will still need 2 to 4 days for your muscles to heal.
It can be discouraging in the beginning when you embark on a training program and plan to exercise regularly but after one workout, you can’t move without groaning for a few days. You’ll need to rest till you’re healed.
The best way to prevent this is to make your first few sessions light. The goal is to just do a few of the exercises and use light weights. If it’s cardio, don’t go all out and give your maximum effort. Just stick to a slow or moderate pace.
Even short 15 or 20 minute sessions will suffice in the beginning. This will prevent your muscles from being too sore the next day. Always ease into your training regimen slowly. By slowly and gradually increasing your intensity and training load, you’ll be giving your body time to adapt to the demands placed upon it.
Many women are eager to lose the weight fast or get fit overnight and they try to give it their best. Common fitness mantras like ‘Go hard or go home’ and ‘No pain no gain’ do not help here.
These motivational quotes are best used by athletes and people who train often. When you’re just starting off, do go slow. Slow progress is better than no progress.
In the event that you still have muscle soreness, you can try soaking in a tub of water with Epsom salts or you can try over-the-counter muscle rubs. These will provide temporary relief.
If you’re experiencing muscle soreness in your legs, you can always focus the day’s workout on your upper body and vice-versa. There’s no need to skip a workout if just one part of your body aches. You’ll feel satisfied knowing that you at least got something done for the day.
However, if your entire body aches and this can occur when you do full-body workouts, you can rest or go for a slow walk. Resting and recovery is just as important as activity. It doesn’t mean you’re off track. Even a tiger crouches before it leaps.
So, don’t feel dejected and quit just because your first few sessions are causing you pain. Maintain a positive mindset and keep pushing forward knowing that pain is weakness leaving the body. Approach your training in a gradually progressive manner and you’ll be just fine.

Dealing with Muscle Soreness and Pushing Forward

Latest Update: Monday, March 18, 2019

fit and hard

The Female Guide To Getting Lean, Trim, And Hard

Fit is the new hot. Long gone are the days where skinny women are considered the best looking. Society has finally woken up to the fact that strong women are sexy. However, because of our chemical makeup, it can be hard for women to get a lean and trim body. If you are determined to whip your body into shape, all you need is to follow this guide and you’ll see success.

Start By Evaluating Your Lifestyle

The best way to start is by making small lifestyle changes that can make a BIG difference.
• Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every night, especially after a good workout. Your muscles will need that time to repair.
• Manage your stress levels through a hobby, meditation, or yoga. As women, hormones make a big difference in our ability to burn fat. Stress is the evil enemy in this regard. Do whatever you can to diminish the sources of stress in your life.
• Look for ways to increase you activity level, especially if you have a desk job. Schedule fun outings with friends that include sports like beach volleyball or ultimate Frisbee. Take your family on a hike in the weekends. Use the stairs, walk during lunch, or google a desk office workout.

Nutrition for a Lean, Trim, Hard Body

fit and hardYou would think that the most important part of getting good muscle mass is your workout but without providing your body with the right fuel, you’d be wasting your time with even hour long workouts (You do not need hour long workouts to get fit, so don’t freak out!). So, how are your eating habits?
In order to shed fat and reveal muscle you need to have a calorie deficit. To do this you need to calculate your BMI and daily caloric need to achieve this weight in a steady and consistent manner.

To calculate your daily calorie needs go here: http://nutritiondata.self.com/tools/calories-burned

The number you calculated is the amount of calories you need to maintain your current weight. You need to shave off around 500 calories to lose a pound per week. Add in the calories burned through your workout and you’ll see a healthy loss of about 2-3 lbs per week. If you eat right this weight loss will be pure fat.

Diet

• A healthy diet to create a lean body needs to have plenty of protein, about 80-90 grams of lean protein per day. Chicken breasts, fish, and vegetable proteins are good sources of lean protein.

• Next, you need to calculate your carbohydrates, which should be complex carbs at all times, no processed yucky stuff.

• The rest of your nutrition should come from fruits and vegetables with a few healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and healthy oils. Always hydrate your body with at least 64 oz. of water.

The Workout

Finally! It’s about time we get to your workout, right? The absolute best workouts for busy women to effectively sculpt a beautiful lean body would be quick, include cardio, and work every major muscle in the body.

I know what you are thinking, but this workout does exist!

It’s called High Intensity Interval Training. I’m sure you heard of it. It’s very popular and for good reason.

It can take as little as 20 minutes and will leave you feeling like you’ve wrestled a lion. This workout is a sample of what the perfect workout will look like. You can vary your workout constantly to include your favorite bodyweight moves and focus on any of your trouble zones.

Just follow this formula for circuits and timing and you can’t fail!

Circuit 1:

50 seconds burpees
10-second rest
50 seconds jump squats
10-second rest
Repeat 4 times

Circuit 2:

30 seconds push-ups
30 seconds butt kicks
30 seconds side plank pulses (left)
30 seconds high knees
30 seconds push-ups
30 seconds jumping jacks
30 seconds side plank pulses (right)
30 seconds butt kicks
Rest 1 minute
Repeat 2 times

Love to run? Try this interval workout after a quick warmup:

2 min 65% max speed running
30 sec 90% max speed
1 min of bodyweight exercise of choice
Repeat 6 times

Increase muscle mass by making it to the gym once or twice a week for heavy lifting. Don’t worry, this won’t make you bulky, but it will set fire to your metabolism and have the fat melting off your body like butter.

Getting Lean Trim And Hard

Latest Update: Monday, March 18, 2019