With the Olympics about to start, it can feel a bit overwhelming on the fitness front. After all, somewhere in Rio, thousands of beautiful athletes at their physical prime are living in close quarters and apparently sharing each other’s company like they want to create a super-race that is really good at jumping and running. Then again, from the stories coming out of Rio, maybe you’re not that upset. Whatever. We’re not here to judge.
What the heck is HIIT?
HIIT workouts are High-Intesity Interval Training. A fancy way of saying that they involve a lot of movements over a short period of time and they get your metabolism working on overdrive. Learn more here:
An often overlooked part of starting any workout regimen is remembering to set an achievable goal. Want to get lean and get ripped today? Not going to happen. You can do both at the same time, but you won’t get fast results. Read up on fitness sites and get your bulls**t meter ready. There’s a lot out there to sort through, but the information at your fingertips is almost limitless. Figure out what you want. Find out the best way (for you) to accomplish that goal, then get around to doing it.
Here’s a tip: don’t diet. If you want to change your nutrition (and it is the best way to affect your weight, if that’s your goal) change it slowly and in a way you can sustain. Don’t fad diet and crash. It’s about time you took something from a sitcom and applied it to real life, don’t you think?
Back to exercise. There’s one reason in particular that you need to be so consistent, and it has to do with how your body works behind the scenes. Even if we were wrong earlier about your high-caliber exercise capabilities, swimming vigorously AND running at a 10 minute/mile pace for an hour each will only burn a total of about 1,500 of the daily recommended average 2,000 calories (and let’s be honest, are we really average eaters?). If you’re wondering what accounts for the rest of your calorie burn, look inside yourself, with a scalpel if you must. Your body is constantly generating energy and using that energy to stay awake during status meetings, continue breathing without distracting you from spotting cops while you’re speeding, or survive until burrito o’clock–err, lunch.. This constant burn of calories is called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It makes up about 50-60% of an average persons caloric expenditure. A few factors affect it, but there is one that you can control to far greater effect than any other.
Muscle burns more calories at rest. It’s a simple fact of physiology, and it’s the key to getting the kind of workout gains you are probably looking for. In the end, everything goes back to this one constant. Build muscle, get healthy. Want to lose weight and look good naked? Muscle will help you keep off the pounds by upping your energy expenditure all day long. Want to lift heavy things? Muscle will get you there. Want to become a roving barbarian and ravage the countryside in search of wenches and loot? Well first, dude, don’t do that. But if you want to ignore our advice, muscles are going to be important.
Just be careful you don’t overdo it. Maintaining biceps like Gigantor’s up there is a full-time job by itself.