High Intensity Training

High Intensity Interval Training

Each week at Ellipse Fitness the structure of the sessions is designed so the body is getting a balanced mix of strength, cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT). This format helps with weight loss, burn fat, kick-starting the metabolism, muscle tone, and increasing energy and well-being. Let’s dig into the HIIT benefits and why it transforms the body and helps to maximize results.

First, let’s define HIIT: High intensity interval training is a form of training that alternates between quick, intense activity and fixed rest periods. This type of workout has various benefits, but here are the biggies!

Time Saver: For starters, research shows that a quality 15 minute HIIT workout compared to jogging on a treadmill for 60 min, is more effective, especially when compared over the 24 hour period following the workout. With that being said, time allocated to working out in HIIT style takes less time, yet the impact is more significant.

This is perfect for a busy schedule! Get in 20 minutes or less of HIIT and you’ve had a full workout. HIIT should take place 2-3x/week tops, to help with physical and mental strength. An additional plus of the time saving aspect of HIIT is that you can do it anywhere. No excuses accepted!

You are more likely to stick to it: How many times have you been on a treadmill and tried not to look at the time? We trot along trying to distract ourselves, while hoping that time is flying by while we aren’t looking at the clock. Come on, we know you’ve been there! Well here’s what’s awesome about HIIT. With the time saving benefit, you’ll reach higher endorphin levels quickly, leaving you feeling great after a short amount of time. Ellipse workouts are never longer than 45 minutes, and members aren’t only coming back because they look good, but because they FEEL GOOD! This boost, no matter at Ellipse or not, drives you to make fitness a part of your life. HIIT workouts make you feel good fast, leaving a stronger influence on creating a habit of exercising and even better, a desire for it!

Preserve Muscle Mass & Burn Fat: Research shows HIIT preserves muscle mass, while promoting increased fat burn. Whereas steady state cardio may encourage muscle loss with the fat burn. Once you’ve built strong muscle, it’s not something you want to lose! A HIIT workout kicks your body’s repair cycle into overdrive, helping to preserve your hard earned muscle and instead, burns the fat which in turn is what causes healthy weight loss.

Healthy Heart: HIIT pushes you into an anaerobic zone, fast! Taking your heart rate into this zone, from low to very high quickly, causes pressure on veins and arteries. The veins and arteries then increase in flexibility and elasticity. It may take miles before you reach this state while on a treadmill!

HIIT involves periods of work and rest to increase the heart rate while at work and increase the results while at rest. Lead trainer, Doug Mueller, of Milwaukee Third Ward location says, “This roller coaster ride for the heart enhances the cardiovascular system.” So doing intervals of high intensity exercises with fixed rest periods, breaks down muscle mass which depletes energy stores, causing the body to spend more energy rebuilding and replenishing muscle mass, including our precious muscular organ, the heart. <3

You Need to be HIIT!!!

Last month I attended a Science behind Fat Loss seminar hosted by Alywn and Rachel Cosgrove, owner of Results Fitness in sunny Southern California.  While I would have loved to spend some time at the beach, the seminar was a great opportunity to meet and learn from other fitness professionals from all over the world. Mike Wunsch, Program Design Specialist at Results Fitness said it best at the seminar “We reserve the right to get BETTER!”  –So, I was there to learn and “GET BETTER” at helping our members lose fat! Over the next few weeks I plan on sharing more of what we learned to help you on your path to better health and fitness.  For this post, I would like to talk about the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and how to incorporate it into your workout routine.

The idea of HIIT is quite simple.  Work your body as hard as you can for a short period of time, rest…and repeat.  The technique is commonly used when training professional athletes, and is now starting to be embraced by personal trainers and fitness professionals as it’s a very effective way to improve cardiovascular health, build lean muscles and increase your metabolic rate.

While HIIT is very challenging, there is one significant benefit.  You burn fat faster. In fact, some studies indicate HIIT can burn up to 9x (yes, nine times) more fat than traditional training methods.

What are some ways to practice HIIT?

One common technique is TABATA J.  I can hear you moaning already! TABATA is where you do a particular exercise as hard as you can for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second rest.  This is repeated 8x over a four-minute period.  See the video for an example! You’ll be seeing PLENTY of TABATA at Ellipse on Fridays for this reason!

Another way to practice HIIT is circuit training.  In circuit training, you complete a series of exercises at set intervals.  I’d like to share a recent workout we did at one of our K-Bell classes utilizing Kettlebells and only 40 minutes including warm up and cooling/stretch incorporating HIIT concepts:

1 Arm Kettlebell Swing

High Pull

1 Arm Row

Kettlebell Swing

1 Arm weighted Squat




Kettlebell Swing

Clean and Press

For this routine, we completed two circuits and each exercise was performed with both the left and right arm.  The first time through the circuit exercises were done in 20-second intervals (each arm back to back) followed by a 20 second rest.  The second time through we increased the intensity as exercises were done in 45-second intervals followed by a shorter 15-second rest every :45.

With this type of training you are performing the exercises at maximum effort.  When you work with a Kettlebell, not only are you lifting a moderate to heavy weight and strengthening your muscles, you also have to balance yourself thus strengthening your core.  It can be a great way to burn calories, reduce body fat and increase muscle mass thus increasing your metabolic rate.  This is a great way to achieve results faster and also have fun doing it.

If you have questions on the concept and would like to learn more about the benefits of HIIT, or would like to try HIIT training at any of our Ellipse Fitness locations, feel free to email me at lisa@ellipsefitness.com.  Reminder that K-Bell is beginning this week at several Ellipse locations! Consider adding it to your routine for MAXIMUM Fat Loss benefit!