What’s the number one excuse for not working out? You guessed it—I just don’t have time! We hate to break it to you, but that excuse no longer holds up. With high-intensity interval training (HIIT) outperforming longer, more traditional workouts like steady-pace cardio, you can sneak in a full-body and highly effective fat-burning session in 5 minutes or less!
The Benefits of HIIT
High-intensity interval training is any workout made up of brief, intense surges of activity followed by moderate periods of rest and recovery. HIIT has been proven to increase fat burning and metabolic rate far more effectively than traditional cardiovascular workouts lasting an hour or more.
- One study demonstrated that 15 minutes of HIIT three or more times a week delivered more fitness benefit than jogging on a treadmill for one hour.
- A 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference indicated that two weeks of HIIT increased aerobic capacity as effectively as six to eight weeks of endurance training.
- A 2006 study showed that people who engaged in eight weeks of HIIT could bicycle for twice as long, and at the same pace, as they could before the study.
HIIT activates fat-busting enzymes, so you’ll burn more fat in the 24 hours post workout than you would after an hour of treadmill running. Just two to three sessions of HIIT a week can trigger the production of human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450%! HGH accelerates your metabolism and helps slow the aging process. Studies have even shown that a consistent HIIT program improves insulin sensitivity and helps regulate blood sugar.
High-intensity interval training does all this without sacrificing muscle mass, ensuring that the weight that is lost comes from fat only, and not your precious lean muscle. And you only need to invest in as little as 5 minutes two to three times a week to reap the benefits!
The Minimum Effective Dose: 20 Seconds
Dr. Brenda Vanta, M.D., a medical doctor specialized in nutrition and integrative medicine, spent the last five years testing out HIIT in different doses in order to determine the minimum amount of exercise you can do and still achieve the results you crave. Her research uncovered the minimum effective dose—20 seconds per exercise delivers a changed physique.
However, Dr. Vanta found that the isolated HIIT exercises that target a specific set of muscles did not work as well as compound exercises that work a broad range of muscles simultaneously … so you save time, tone, and toss the fat at a far greater rate! These compound exercises, each just 20 seconds long, decrease your risk of injury and stimulate the release of anabolic hormones involved in muscle development, coordination, and joint flexibility.
Build Up Your Abs with the Bicycle Crunch
Here’s an example of a 20-second workout to include in your HIIT program:
- Lie flat on the floor. Press your lower back to the floor so that your spine is not overly curved
- Flex your core muscles
- Place your hands behind your head, with your fingertips entwined and gently resting on your neck
- Lift your knees to a 45-degree angle and perform a bicycle pedaling motion, touching each elbow to the opposite knee as you pedal
- Do as many reps as you can for just 20 seconds!
The Bicycle Crunch is only one of the seventeen 20-second exercises that comprise the most powerful HIIT-style workout. To get the rest of the exercises, including the online video demonstrations, go to www.The20SecondWorkout.com.