High Intensity Training Workout: Less Is More! | high intensity workout

High Intensity Workout

High intensity workout

High intensity workout

High intensity workout, or high intensity training, is a form of workout where you choose a workout and do interval training, which means you increase your heart rate by doing intensive exercises with short breaks in between. The benefit of doing a high intensity workout is that your body keeps on burning calories even after you leave the gym. It is a great way to maximize your weight-loss effort.

Science behind the high intensity workout

Cardio exercises involve aerobic activity, while high intensity workout involve aerobic and anaerobic activity. Aerobic respiration requires oxygen to create energy, while anaerobic respiration does not need oxygen to create energy. It takes one liter of oxygen to burn 5 calories per minute; this means that if you use one liter of oxygen for one minute while walking, you will burn 5 calories per minute or 300 calories per hour. The standard to measure the fitness level of a person is known as VO2 max. VO2 max is the amount of oxygen that cells can consume and can be measured as VO2 max=(millilitres of oxygen) x your body weight x time exercised.

Benefits of High Intensity Workout:

  • Improves mitochondrial function
  • Makes the pituitary gland produce the human growth hormone which slows the aging process.
  • Builds muscles, as it burns fat, not muscles.
  • More calories burn as opposed to a cardio workout.
  • Short and sweet for busy people: Takes no more than 15 to 20 minutes, 3 times a week.
  • Continues burning fat depending on the intensity up to 24 hours even after a work-out.
  • Improves heart health.
  • High intensity workout does not need  any exercise equipment.
  • Increases metabolism.
  • Production of endorphins, natural pain killers.

Below is the table of most popular form of High intensity workout training.

                    Comparision of leading high intensity interval training programmes
High Intensity Workout programs   Time Frequency  VO2 (oxygen consumption) MaxCycle/min
Tabatha method4 min2 to 4 times a week170%20 sec high intensity 10 sec rest for 8 cycles.
Warm up-3 min
20 sec sprinting
10 sec walking.
Little method27 min3 times a week95%60 sec high intensity 75 sec low intensity for 12 cycles.
Warm up-3 min
60 sec brisk cycling
75 sec slow cycling
Turbulence training45 min3 times a week 8 repetitions of weight training with 1 to 2 minutes of cardio.
(strength training with cardio)Warm ups 5 min
8 reps of weight lifting
1 min mountain climbing
Dr. Mercola20 min3 times a week30 sec high intensity 90 sec low intensity 8 reps
Heart rate calculated = 220-age of a person


 People should use caution while doing a high intensity workout. Here are some dos and don’ts:

Even though high intensity workouts have their benefits, it is not for everyone. It is very important to start a High intensity workout (High intensity interval training) with a warm up in the beginning and a cool down in the end, each of which should be 5 minutes. Start slow and listen to your body if you experience pain, dizziness,nausea or light-headedness. Stop immediately or you will end up injuring yourself. Rest between repetitions and go on high-speed once you have recovered until you feel the burning sensation which indicates that your body has reached its anaerobic zone. If possible, interval training should be done no more than 3 to 4 times a week, on alternate days, as the body also needs time to heal. Start a high intensity workout only if you are able to exercise for 30 to 35 minutes without being exhausted and have reached at least a goal of 75% to 80% of your heart rate. Remember high intensity workout is not for people who are just starting to exercise or people with cardiovascular disease. Before starting any exercise regimen, consult with your doctor. Always remember that exercising in moderation is the key, as we all know that too much of a good thing is bad.


Dr Mercola

NIH Evidence of benefits of High intensity workout clinical trials


Metabolic calculations



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