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Why 20 Minutes is more than Enough!

You may have heard of this type of workout in past using different names such as Super-Slow or High Intensity Training so this article is to bring you some of the benefits of training less and seeing better results with no nonsense gimmicks or insanely long routines.

  • Sun tan vs. Sun burn- Exposure to sunlight does not directly produce a tan. The ultraviolet radiation in sunlight stimulates melanocytes in the skin to produce more melanin as a protective mechanism, darkening the skin. The brighter the sun, the more intense the radiation, the stronger the stimulus. The same situation occurs with exercise or any other stress – the more intense the muscle gets stressed, the greater the stimulus for adaptation. Up to a point intense exercise will stimulate improvements in strength, metabolic and cardiovascular conditioning and other aspects of fitness, but beyond some point the demands of the workout exceed what the body is able to recover from and adapt to and eventually can cause a loss of strength and conditioning, a situation called “overtraining”. (

  • Microscopic tearing-The more intense the muscle contracts, the more microtrauma takes place at the cellular level. In the next 24 hours following a workout, inflammation takes place and white blood cells (neutrophils) go to the area of damage to begin the repair and rebuilding process of muscle. Lysosomes (enzymes) help break down and metabolize damaged tissue. This is the most critical time when the body needs recovery in the form of rest.

  • Rest- The Biggest Component of Results. When we sleep we burn the highest percentage of body fat, this is because we do not need to use glucose or glycogen to meet the energy demands. Since the muscle is constantly going through tissue remodeling, the energy used in metabolic repair would come from stored body fat. This is why muscle burns fat all day long and in-between workouts.

  • Emptying the Gas Tank-Remember the advice for conserving gas, if you drive 55mph you can consume less gas and get better gas mileage but if you drive too fast you will consume too much fuel and need to refill the tank more often? Think of your muscle as fuel tanks. If you do low-intensity, steady state activities (cardio) it will not tap the fast twitch muscle fibers that possess the most glycogen. Since the muscle are never emptied of meaningful levels of glucose, the result that the circulating glucose (sugar) has nowhere to be stored- except as body fat. PUT YOUR FOOT TO THE FLOOR AND RACE YOUR ENGINE.

  • Time under Tension- Repetitions were not actually based on the number of times you lifted a weight but actually the amount of time you stressed the muscle. The faster we move resistance, the less force we have behind it. This is called the Force/Velocity curve. The proper amount of time a muscle should be placed under load is anywhere from 45-90 of time to facilitate an orderly recruitment of muscle fibers. For this reason, fast twitch motor units account for the last two to twenty seconds of muscular contraction and elicit the greatest amount of glycogen depletion. SLOW DOWN AND WORK THE MUSCLE TO FAILURE.

  • Fat Metabolism- HIT training does something that is highly important in the fat-burning process; it activates hormone-sensitive lipase. When we utilize glycogen during high intensity exercise we are also able to activate lipase which allows mobilization of body fat. If insulin levels are high even if the face of caloric deficit, lipase will stop and make it impossible for fat to become metabolized.

  • Aerobic Intensity- In a 30-minute cardio session, you could walk one mile, or run two miles… more distance (at that higher intensity) would help you to burn more in the same amount of time. Running 6.0 mph, 200 calories, only 40% calories from fat (80 calories from fat) Walking 3.0 mph, 125 calories, 50% calories from fat (62.5 calories from fat). So although the person going at a lower intensity will burn a higher “PERCANTAGE” of fat, you aren’t burning as many total calories, and aren’t burning as much total fat.

  • Stop by the training department and schedule a FREE session of HIT and learn more about nutrition and exercise and how to train less and see more results.


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