Why Shorter Workouts Actually Yield Better Results

High-intensity interval training and efficient circuit strategies allow you to reach your goals in less time.

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We live in a time of multitasking, micromanaging, screen jumping and spreading ourselves thin — leaving many of us overworked and overstressed. I don’t care how perfect your nutrition is or how many workouts you’re fitting in each week, if your stress levels are through the roof, you will not see results.

Exercise imposes additional stress on our bodies. So what’s stopping us from creating fitness routines that are effective in achieving results without overexertion? If I said you could waste less time at the gym and see major improvements in body composition, as well as the number between your two big toes, would you be interested?

Well, you can.

Shorter Workouts Keep Your Interest

High-intensity interval training has a tremendous impact on your aerobic capacity with a very small price tag in terms of time requirement. Also, workout routines are far more effective when your interest remains piqued. Staying focused and excited about completing a certain amount of rounds, reps, etc., will have you coming back for more over time. Constantly varied movement is discussed widely in the realm of CrossFit. One major factor behind the success of this ever-growing sport is the compelling aspect of community in order to pique and keep your interest.

You Can Exercise Anywhere

You don’t need to be a member of a CrossFit gym to cash in on the aesthetics and time gains associated with this fitness style. Make a list of 12 to 15 movements you feel really comfortable with. Mix and match them in a circuit-style workout with opposing muscle groups. Maintain a time cap of 12 to 25 minutes. Keep the intensity high without sacrificing form. Wherever you’re working out now, you have the capacity to add this short yet effective workout to your routine.

Research Shows…

Research has examined the effects of high-intensity interval training on body composition and physical performance. HIIT provides an efficient alternative to traditional endurance-based conditioning such as biking, running or using the elliptical machine.

One study examined the effects of HIIT on body composition and biomechanical parameters. The program was carried out for three sessions per week over the course of eight weeks. Both height and body mass were relatively similar at the beginning of the eight weeks, with the most significant results being a decrease in body mass and improvements in aerobic and anaerobic performance. This study provides evidence that this form of training may be more effective than traditional circuit training in improving cardio and metabolic profiles.

Burn More Fat, Build Lean Muscle, Increase Performance

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that the heart muscle will actually enlarge during HIIT-style workouts, so the muscle can become bigger and stronger in order to adapt. During each exercise session, your heart is building stamina. Because it needs less time to rest, its ability to use oxygen more efficiently increases. You’re able to maintain an elevated heart rate over a longer period.

HIIT also triggers post-exercise oxygen consumption, a period of time after exercise when your body needs more energy in addition to oxygen. Therefore, fat stores are broken down by the body, become oxidized and are then used by the body immediately as energy — essentially making your body a fat-burning machine.

Finally, if you’re not sold yet on HIIT-style workouts, they produce muscle-building hormones such as insulin-like growth factor-1, which allows the body to build lean mass more effectively. The more lean mass we have, the more calories we burn at rest.

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