Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Want to HIIT it, but Hate Sprinting? 4-Minute-HIIT-Workout using Burpees, Mountain Climbers, Squats + Thrusts w/ 3-kg Dumbbells, and Jumping Jacks Works Almost as Well

Guys, you can benefit from bodyweight exercises, too - not just when traveling!
Running ain't for everyone. I know that, ... So, if you've sustained an injury that keeps you from all-out sprints, or you simply hate sprinting, altogether, it would appear as if high-intensity interval training (HIIT), the time saving and in several aspects, such as the effects on post-workout oxygen consumption, superior version of "cardio" was not for you. Wrong.

I belong to the group of people who are not really into sprinting, so, as mentioned before, I like using a rowing ergometer for my HIIT sessions and if that doesn't sound appealing to you, either, what about some whole body + body weight exercises?
You can learn more about HIIT at the SuppVersity

Never Train To Burn Calories!

Tabata = 14.2kcal /min ≠ Fat Loss

30s Intervals + 2:1 Work/Rec.

Making HIIT a Hit Part I/II

Making HIIT a Hit Part II/II

Triple Your Energy Exp.
The beauty of the workout Schaun et al. investigated for their latest paper in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Schaun 2018) is that ...
  • Fast-paced weight lifting circuits yield both strength and fitness gains | more
    it can be easily done in a hotel room with minimal (or no) equipment, and takes only ~4 minutes (+4 min warm-up = 8 minutes vs. 30 minutes for MICT), and
  • it is almost as effective as sprinting in increasing the VT2_max, i.e. the point where you'll have to stop training and is thus a true cardio training
and it is a strategy that may be valuable beyond the everyday AM workouts you are hopefully doing to stay in shape when you're traveling - you just have to have the guts to perform the 2x ca. 4min a(two rounds of 4x20s at max. intensity  + 4x10s passive recovery on the treadmill for each exercise) exercise of burpees, mountain climbers, squat and thrusts with 3-kg dumbbells, and jumping jacks at truly "maximum effort" (this workout produced quite outstanding results in McRae et al. (2012), already). In that maximum effort is also the rep prescription.
Table 1: Summary of the protocols used in the study (Schaun 2018).
You simply do as many as possible for each of the exercises in 20s. So 20s burpees, 20s mountain climbers, etc. when you've done the jumping jacks, rest briefly, do it again (2x).

Speaking of staying in shape...

As the results of the study at hand show, both sprinting and MICT seem to be better suited for improving classic performance-related outcomes and body composition.
Table 2: Descriptive variables according to protocol performed in response to 16 weeks of training in healthy young adults; †Significantly different from pre (p < 0.001 | Schaun 2018)
As the data in Table 2 goes to show you, the pre-post differences in skinfold thickness and body fat % favor the classic sprint (HIIT-T) and medium-intensity steady state (MICT) training. This does not mean, however, that the body weight workout didn't produce results in the (initially) N=55 young, healthy subjects who had been randomly assigned to one of the three protocols over a 16-week period.
Figure 1: VO2max increases (left) clearly favor the classics, the changes in the ventilatory threshold 2 (right), i.e. the point where you have to quit exercising because you're fatigued, on the other hand, benefit more from whole-body + body-weight HIIT vs. classic medium-intensity cardio (no difference to sprinting | Schaun 2018).
Furthermore, it should be noted that the testing procedures used to quantify the performance effects illustrated in Figure 1 clearly favored HIIT-T and MICT as they were based on treadmill-based - confounding by a sport-specific training effect in either of the last-mentioned groups can thus not be excluded.
Eight HIIT Sessions on the Rowing Ergometer Cut Body Fat, Increase Adiponectin, VO2Max & Performance in National Level Rowers - Workmatched Classic 'Cardio' Does Nada. What does that tell you? You can and should stop sprinting if you hate it and try different modes of high-intensity interval training... including, if you want, whole body w/ body-weight training | more
So what does that mean for me or my clients? Well, I guess the most important take-home message is that a sequence of is a viable alternative to both, classic steady state medium- and sprint high-intensity interval training.

I would estimate the effects to be even more pronounced if there was a way to monitor one's own efforts while training objectively - the MICT and HIIT-T group had the treadmill to tell them how fast they were going. This helps you keep accountable and may (via downstream effects on exercise intensity) alone explain the slight disadvantages of HIIT-MB.

I would thus support the scientists' conclusion that "this training mode can [already] be suggested as a great possibility for training regimes aimed at health and physical fitness promotion [...] despite the need for large-scale studies in nonlaboratory environments" (Schaun 2018) and the questionable applicability of this way of training to/in obese individuals, by the way | Comment on Facebook!
  • McRae, Gill, et al. "Extremely low volume, whole-body aerobic–resistance training improves aerobic fitness and muscular endurance in females." Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism 37.6 (2012): 1124-1131.
  • Schaun, GZ, Pinto, SS, Silva, MR, Dolinski, DB, and Alberton, CL. Sixteen weeks of whole-body high-intensity interval training induce similar cardiorespiratory responses compared with traditional high-intensity interval training and moderate-intensity continuous training in healthy men. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2018