SIT is an exercise form that unites short but very high-intensity sprints with longer, low-to-moderate-intensity intervals. SIT improves your glycogen and lipid metabolism and can give you results in considerably shorter amount of time than typical endurance training. A study published in the “Journal of Physiology” in January 2008 showed that SIT exercise elicited similar adaptations in skeletal muscle metabolism as moderate-intensity exercise, but took less time. We can use SIT for any of our typical aerobic exercise routines, including running, bicycling, swimming, and walking. The 45-minute exercise described below is based on interval training and will spike up your intensity and heart rate for short durations.
45-Minute Cardio Blast
This 45-minute interval exercise helps us burn fat during and after the workout. Do the first part of your 45-minute fat-burning exercise on a treadmill (outside works fine too) or elliptical. Start with a five-minute warm-up at low intensity. For the next 15 minutes, alternate between moderate-intensity and very high-intensity intervals. Do a two-minute, moderate-intensity interval and a 30-to-60-second, high-intensity interval at close to maximum effort. You can increase your intensity by running faster, or increase resistance by raising your incline. If you can track your heart rate throughout the exercise, try to raise it 80 to 90 percent of maximum during your high-intensity sprints. This can be done on an exercise bike at home too, if you have one. In fact our home exercise bike (which we have had for 19 years) has an interval setting which works great for this type of workout.
For those days during the week when you have at least 45 minutes to exercise, the SIT workout is a great way to maximize your time. But what about those other days when all you have is 20 or 25 minutes? The following is a strength blast workout that gets your heart rate up, but doesn’t require a lot of time. If we alternate these workouts during the week ( a few days of SIT workouts and a few of STB workouts), we can maximize our time and get the best results given the time we have!
25-Minute Strength Training Blast
Warm up with some dynamic exercises like leg lifts, butt kicks, side shuffles, etc. for 5 minutes. Then do the following exercises back-to-back at a fast pace without taking any breaks: lunges, push-ups, squats, shoulder presses (with 5-10 lb. weights), planks, biceps curls (with your weights again), eight count body builders, tricep backs with or without weights (hold your arms straight back behind you and lift them up in the air keeping them straight and squeezing the tricep-these should be very small movements, contracting the muscle the whole time). Perform an exercise as many times you can in 60 seconds and then move immediately to the next exercise. After the 8-9 minute workout, take a short break, drink water and repeat one more time. Your heart rate should remain between 60 to 80 percent of maximum throughout the workout (stop or lower your intensity if you start feel lightheaded or dizzy during the exercise). Pick low weights that allow you to do the moves at a fast pace but still give resistance to your muscles.
By adding a day of rest and a day of easy running, walking, or biking, we have a very efficient exercise routine that we can consistently rely on. What are your favorite routines to get it done fast but efficiently?