It’s Time to Get Off the Gym Hamster Wheel

WELLNESS--What if I told you that it’s possible to workout shorter and get a greater benefit? Would you think it was some type of fad workout or scam to get you to buy something? Truth be told, most of us are wasting time with long drawn out workouts that give back little benefit. It’s time to get off the ineffectual gym hamster wheel and start doing the HIIT (high intensity internal training) workout. 

Please note that if you are new to interval training be sure to check with your doctor and get a physical first before training with HIIT as it is a more intense way of training your body and heart. 

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. Study after study has proven that exercising this way helps to stimulate the release of human growth hormone and other chemicals that help to slow aging while strengthening the body and heart. 

In order to properly train with HIIT one needs to first figure out their heart rate maximum. You simply take 220 minus your age to get your maximum heart rate. From there you multiply it by 90 or 95 percent. We can use mine as an example. 220 – 46 = 174. 174 X .95 = 165. As high as I would ever want my heart to be beating during my training would be 165, and that would NOT be for a long period of time. 

They call it interval training because we only want to bring our heart rates up to our max for short intervals of 30 seconds or less unless you are a highly trained athlete. 

For beginners, it is suggested to train below your heart rate max at around 70 percent and only bring your heart rate up to 90 or 95 percent of your max once or twice for the first few times you try this and for less than 30 seconds each time. 

Each week, you can add one more interval of intensity until you reach 8 high intensity intervals of 90 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can work out for only 25 minutes and reach 8 without too much trouble as long as you already warmed up. 

Studies show  that people who train with HIIT are more likely to get stronger hearts that pump more efficiently as opposed to their slow plodding cardio friends. In addition to the positive heart effects, the release of healthy age slowing hormones is another huge benefit.  

People are paying upwards of $1000 dollars a month in human growth hormone supplements, and the HIIT workout will cause your body to produce it naturally and free of charge. This hormone helps to heal the body; brain and skin making us feel more healthy younger looking. 

Try the HIIT workout this week and let me know how it goes!


(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 323.935.3420. twitter: @CristianoWFR)