When people think of cardiovascular exercise, they think of long boring stints on a cross trainer or a long run on the treadmill. They are doing hours of running every week and it just isn’t making any big impact on their weight, and feel they are not making any progress both physically and mentally. Keeping fit and losing weight can improve an individual’s health, body and confidence along with plenty of other benefits.
Let’s talk about a training technique that will help you lose fat, keep fit and build muscle. This form of training is called HIIT training, High Intensity Interval Training, and can be done by anyone whether you are a beginner or an elite athlete. This method of training involves short and intense bursts of anaerobic exercise, followed by short static or active recovery periods. These short intervals of training are generally time and distance fixed, and you should be giving 80 – 100% of your max effort to get your heart rate as high as possible, with each set lasting between 30-40 seconds. Studies have shown that this method of interval training is far more effective than any other form of steady state cardio for burning fat in a shorter amount of time.
HIIT training on a rowing machine
A rowing machine is a very effective way of performing HIIT training as it involves your whole body at all times, unlike running or cycling which focuses mainly on your lower limbs. This type of HIIT training is very strenuous on your upper and lower body muscles, and will require you to push your limits. When performing interval training on a rowing machine, it is important to get a good warm up and stretch done before hand, particularly on your upper body.
Starting off with a low resistance 500m row to get the blood flowing to the muscles along with a few stretches would suffice as a warm up. Once you begin your working sets, a 30:30 split would be ideal for optimal fat burning results. To perform these sets, you must turn the resistance dial up high (one of the top 3 resistance) during working sets and row as fast and as hard as you can for 30 seconds, followed by a 30 second rest/recovery period. As rowing is so strenuous on your whole body, it is recommended that you take a non-active recovery period as your body tends to fatigue faster with this type of exercise. You can repeat this 10 – 15 times depending on your fitness levels.
Why does HIIT training burn fat and help lose weight?
As HIIT training increases the bodies resting metabolic rate it means you burn more calories throughout your workout and then through the rest of the day, even up to 24 hours after your workout. It comes with plenty of other benefits such as;
You get fitter
HIIT training is proven to improve your VO2 capacity, which increases the rate at which your heart and lungs can transport oxygen to your muscles during exercise. Allowing you to go faster, for longer!
It takes a shorter amount of time
Compared to steady state cardio which can take up to an hour, HIIT allows you to burn the same number of calories in as little as 15 minutes. It can also fit into any busy schedule!
Increased lean muscle mass
Particularly with rowing, you are working your arms, back, and leg muscles constantly during these exercises which will promote lean muscle growth.