BURST TRAINING: WHAT IS IT?
Are you ready to kick some ass and melt your fat once and for all?
Would you like to exercise less but still get great results? Yes, I know these are stupid questions. We all want a secret to losing fat. Well, burst training is that secret. Let's pull the cat out of the bag, shall we?
Burst training goes by several different names. It is also referred to as:
- Interval Training, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- Surge Training
- Short-Burst Training (SBT).
This type of training has been very popular among elite athletes for more than two decades but has become more widely known and used by the 'every day' person only in the last five years. Burst Training is high-intensity cardio that leaves you gasping for breath. The reason you are left gasping for breath and unable to talk is that studies show you must reach 80-90% of your maximum heart rate in order to be correctly performing burst exercises. For those of you who aren't familiar with keeping track of your heart rate, let me tell you 80-90% is balls-to-the-wall. It is getting yourself to the point you think you're gonna drop dead. This is also the reason the intervals are so short. To achieve 100% of your heart rate, is to go absolutely, positively, the hardest you can go before you drop to the ground.
Given the intensity of Burst Training, you absolutely MUST consult your doctor before starting a burst training routine.
Burst training is not for everybody, especially if you have heart disease or high blood pressure. It can be extremely dangerous to engage in such taxing exercises if you have pre-existing health issues.
However, if you are cleared by your doc to do burst exercises, you can perform burst training at any age. My 60 year old mother has lost 25 pounds in the last six weeks by doing burst training three times a week. It should also be noted that she has coupled her burst training with eating healthy. She is still amazed at how she can lose weight with shorter workouts in addition to eating all day long with three full meals and snacks in between. Last week I started her on a weight resistance band program to compliment the burst training, but all of her weight loss thus far has been attributed solely to the proper eating and burst training.
The concept behind this type of training is to engage in exercise intervals that are VERY short-term but at the same time VERY intense.
How short-term are we talking? 30-60 seconds. YES, you read that right. Experts agree that a full minute is about as long as the human body can go full-out.
You would complete 3-4 sets of 30-60 second intervals. In between these 30-60 second sets, you must rest 2-4 minutes or until you catch your breath.
The entire workout is done in about 10 minutes.
Done. Over. Finito.
HERE IS A VIDEO ILLUSTRATING BURST TRAINING:
The above video showed a man at a complete rest during his recovery period. Many experts agree this can be harmful and recommend a very light movement during recovery such as walking or marching in place until your heart rate lowers and you can catch your breath.
Burst Training can be performed by doing dozens of different exercises, not only by using machines such as a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike. You can also do squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups, jumping, hill climbing, stair climbing, running(sprinting), etc. Basically you can do just about anything as long as you do it as hardcore as you can for 30-60 seconds.
Why does this work?
Burst training works because when you go all out and tax your body with such intensity, your body burns all of it's vital energy (glycogen stores, 'sugar'). So while you are actually performing the burst exercises, you are burning up all of your sugar reserves. But the beauty lies in what happens after you're done.
After your 10 minute burst training workout, your body becomes this fat blasting, fat burning furnace... and this lasts for the next 36 hours!
Your body is burning mad fat for 36 hours after your short 10 minute burst session. I mean, come on... That is friggin' awesome! Can you even handle that information? I couldn't when I first learned about it.
This is also the reason you are NOT to do burst training everyday. You MUST only burst train every other day or simply three times a week. You can actually work against this fat burning process if you burst train every day because it is the rest in between that encourages the fat burning.
This is why. After you burst train, your body is working extra hard to try to restore the vital energy you burned off. So your body kicks itself into hyper drive to try to get things right again. All this hard work your body is doing to replenish itself is what is burning the fat for the next 36 hours. When you are burning this fat, your body releases Human Growth Hormones (HGH).
HGH levels are raised the highest during periods of rest and the most when you are sleeping. It is also important to understand that there is a direct correlation to high levels of HGH to the level of intensity DURING your burst training.
In other words, the harder you work out = the higher your HGH levels will be = the more fat you burn in those 36 hours after your workout.
HGH is a natural hormone that is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. It is considered the 'key' hormone because it controls so many organ and bodily functions. To name a few, it enhances tissue growth and repair, cell replacement, brain functions, and enzyme functions. It is responsible for youthfulness, vitality, and energy. But the main reason it is the star player in burst training is because it reduces body fat and promotes lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass increases our daily calorie burn and permanently increases our metabolism.
Burst Training also elevates mood. Have you ever heard of the phenomenon called The Runner's High? Runner's High is achieved by engaging in endurance training that lasts longer than one hour. After approximately one hour of exercise, beta-endorphins are released into your system. Beta-endorphins are the chemicals responsible for elevating your mood. It has been discovered that one can achieve a runner's high during burst training. Yet another perk of trying it out.
So by burst training, you can not only cut down your exercising time but also get a serious dose of happy.
SHOULD WE STOP OUR TRADITIONAL EXERCISING AND ONLY RESORT TO BURST TRAINING?
NO! We should not. The benefits of traditional exercising and training cannot be denied.
If you are doing any type of marathon training or endurance training, you absolutely MUST still train in a traditional sense.
My recommendation would be to burst train three times a week. You should NOT burst train for two days consecutively, otherwise you will be interrupting the fat burning process that makes it work in the first place. But you CAN still exercise. In fact, many experts recommend in order to achieve optimal results, you should do your weight resistance/weight training routine BEFORE you do your burst exercises. Now obviously this takes away from the whole "shorter workout' appeal, but something to think about nonetheless.
It is perfectly okay to continue regular cardio routines and/or weight resistance training on the days you are not doing burst training. These type of exercises, the more traditional sense of what we know exercise as, is recognized on a different level by our bodies and doesn't effect our bodies in the same way as burst exercises. However, during the course of one week, you must allow for one day of TOTAL REST.
Personally, I look forward to my hour of running on my elliptical each day, as well as my 30-60 minutes of weight training. For some (okay, probably most), that hour or two would be looked at as a huge inconvenient chunk of time that needs to be set aside for exercise. But I relish it. I rely on it. It is time that I can escape everything and get lost in my music and live in my perfect pretend world. It keeps me sane. So for me the appeal of burst training isn't shorter workouts, but rather the fat blasting and fat burning it promotes. The fitness level that I want to achieve requires me to have a much more intense exercise regimen than the average person. And I actually enjoy it. I know that's hard to believe but if you do something long enough, it becomes a routine and your body craves it. It craves the endorphins much like it would crave a drug.
HOW TO BURST TRAIN:
- Warm up *DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP
- 30-60 second intense burst exercise
- 2-4 minutes of recovery by marching slowly in place (until breath comes back)
- REPEAT 3 more times
Again, please check with your doctor BEFORE starting a burst training regimen.
"Many so-called spiritual people, they overeat, drink too much, they smoke and don't exercise. But they do go to church every week and pray 'Please help my arthritis. Please help me bring up my strength, make me young again." ~ Jack LaLanne
Related Links Below:
*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.
NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.