When it comes to weight loss, people try everything they possibly can to make it happen, except everything they should be doing. You may have heard that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. I do believe this is true, but making sure that you are doing the most effective form of exercise for weight loss can really push the number on the scale in the right direction. And although exercise may never be the best way to lose weight, there still is no 100% without it.
Since the early 1990’s many studies have determined high intensity to be the most effective way of losing weight through exercise. In one study, a group of participants did 30 minutes of steady state cardio three times a week and another group did 20 minutes of HIT workouts three times a week. Both groups showed similar weight loss but the HIT group showed a 2% body fat loss and the cardio group showed a mere 0.33% body fat loss. Also, the HIT group gained two pounds of muscle, while the cardio group lost one.
Many physiologists have always believed that functioning in the steady state cardio, “Fat burning zone” has been the optimal place to burn fat. But minute for minute, HIT workouts have been found to burn 6%-15% more calories compared to steady state cardio. This is primarily due to the exercise after-burn, or EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which is the number of calories expended above typical resting values after a workout. EPOC has been consistently shown to be higher in HIT training than in steady state cardio. Although EPOC typically ranges from 65-150 calories, if someone doing a HIT workout 3 days a week, for 52 weeks with an EPOC of 75 calories over steady state cardio, they will burn an additional 11,700 calories a year which is equivalent to a little over 3 lbs. of fat loss just because you chose a HIT workout.
High intensity has many benefits and weight loss is just one of them! A safe and efficient high intensity program can take you and your goals a long way. Ask about what high intensity training is if you don’t know! It may be the small change or push in your workout routine that could take you one step further!