Like I said earlier in this holiday guide, you won't need to increase your training time and spend hours in the gym. But you will need to ramp up your training intensity.
This means a program that includes the following:
Shorter rest periods between sets (10 seconds to a minute, tops!). Don't rush the performance of the exercise itself but you want to limit your rest period between sets and exercises.
Include intensity techniques such as supersets, circuits and complexes. These all help to boost the intensity of the exercises, release more growth hormone, boost your metabolism and keep your rest periods short.
Keep in mind, the routines given are flexible. This is NOT a 'do this workout “A” on Monday, do this workout “B” one Tuesday' style program that progressively builds over a few weeks as most good programs do.
These are specifically created Micro-Burst workouts designed to use minimal equipment (such as a kettlebell or a couple of dumbbells) or no equipment at all, so that you can get in workouts anywhere, anytime during the busy holiday season.
We want you to keep working out a habit. Too many people drop their workouts during the holiday season and then never get back to them and before you know it, it's coming up on beach season and they haven't worked out since October.
These workouts are not designed to build strength or a lot of muscle. They are designed to burn calories and boost your metabolism while you're resting so you can keep that ugly holiday season flab from creeping up on you and hanging out permanently (over your belt!).
You can even mix and match. For example, if you do get to the gym for a full workout that utilizes more strength training, go for it.
Then take one of the Micro workouts and do just one round at the end of your regular workout. One round (or circuit) of these workouts will only take you about 4 to 10 minutes.
BENEFITS OF THESE HIIT WORKOUTS:
Now, what's so special about these workouts? A few things, really.
It makes sure you increase the intensity of your workout, which is a key to muscle growth. By cramming more work into a shorter amount of time your intensity increases greatly over what you were doing previously.
By shortening the workout so much, you are more likely to go all out on each set because you won't be pacing yourself for a silly two hour workout.
If you've been doing a routine with a decent amount of volume and numerous workouts per week, this will be quite a change and your intensity levels will skyrocket, spurring your body into a higher muscle building, fat burning zone.
On the fat burning side, this routine will elevate your heart rate, giving you a good cardio workout. Believe me, if you do the typical cardio routine of most gym goers, this program will be more of a cardio workout than you are used to.
You'll also crank up your body's growth hormone release as well, causing your body to burn even more fats.
You will burn more calories during the actual routine. Your body's metabolism will stay elevated long after the workout, burning more calories at rest, and helping to melt the body fat away.
Numerous studies have shown that high intensity training (both weight training and high intensity interval cardio training) can keep your metabolism elevated for up to 39 hours after your workout is over.
In other words, train intensely enough, and you'll be burning fat while doing nothing. Not a bad deal, for a brief period of working hard.
And the workout will keep your lean muscle (it may even build a little muscle), burn fat, and rev your metabolism to much higher levels, throwing you headfirst toward the body you want.
As you can see, with the right type of workout, you can boost your metabolism and burn a lot of calories, even when you aren't working out.
When muscles suffer micro trauma (the muscle tears caused by intense resistance training) the body utilizes energy, specifically stored body fat, in the recovery process.
This means that your metabolism stays elevated over the next 24 to 48 hours as your body repairs the micro trauma.
GETTING STARTED WITH HIIT:
With high intensity training, If you put into it what you want to get out of it, you'll see some fantastic results as long as your nutrition and supplementation programs are in place.
The sessions are shorter and you burn more calories, both huge advantages over the typical routines.
That being said, nothing comes without a price. And in this case, just as in most anything, that price is hard work. These programs are very demanding.
Unless your current fitness level is pretty high, your initial sessions will be break in routines, designed to get you ready for the real deal.
But don't worry, your performance will improve quickly and dramatically. And you will still get more out of these sessions than you ever got out of those 90 minute (or longer) snooze fests you used to do.
These are workouts and exercises that are based on timed intervals and not reps or weight. This allows you to adjust the routine to your fitness level. If you need to pace yourself on certain exercises you can do so.
You can also regress on certain bodyweight exercises. Let's say you're doing regular push ups for 20 second sets. Halfway through the third set you can't get any more push ups.
You could either take a brief break, then continue or you could continue with the push ups but now do them from your knees. Or do both if you need to, a short rest and continue from the knees.
If you're serious about working out at home and don't have the space or money for much equipment, I highly recommend you get a few essential pieces of equipment. The good thing is, you can do so over time. You can always add to your home gym.
Start out with some dumbbells and a bench. Grab a jump rope. Resistance bands are awesome and versatile and easy to take with you anywhere you go. I highly recommend getting a pull up bar.
It's very simple to sit in a door frame. No elaborate set up. Really, it takes just seconds to put up and pull down.
That's all you really need. It won't cost you much to start and you can expand your collection as needed.
If you can't afford anything right now, that's fine! Bodyweight only workouts are awesome, fun and effective for shedding fat and getting in great shape, while looking good, too!
Come back tomorrow at 9am to find out about the specific workouts we will be doing to hijack the holiday weight gain!