You’ve seen them at the gym – those dedicated fitness devotees who spend an hour or more working out on the elliptical machine or the treadmill. If you look at them closely, you’ll see the glazed look in their eyes as they sneak a peek at the clock to see if it’s time to step off the machine and end their misery. No wonder. It’s hard to exercise for an hour or more at a time, especially if you’re doing something as mundane as moving your feet back and forth on a platform while staring at the flashing dials on an exercise machine. But what if you could get the same or better results in a fraction of the time? Experts now say that exercise intensity is more important than how long you do it. Short, high-intensity exercise is the real key to getting ripped. Exercise Intensity: Why High-Intensity Exercise is Better A high-intensity workout is exercise that gets your heart rate up to between 90 and 100% of your maximum heart rate. To get a rough idea of your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. Using this formula, a 30-year old would have a maximum heart rate of around 190. To do a high-intensity workout, a 30-year old would need to reach at a heart-rate between 171 and 190. Not an easy thing to do for long periods of time. That’s where the concept of high-intensity interval training comes in. With high-intensity interval training or HIT, you alternate brief periods of intense exercise with intervals of lower intensity exercise. To do high-intensity interval training, exercise at a high intensity for 30 seconds followed by 1 minute at a lower intensity level. For example, you could walk on the treadmill for 1 minute at a leisurely pace and then break into a sprint for 30 seconds. You would then continue this pattern of alternating high and low intensity intervals 5 to 7 times. When you add it up, you’re only working out for around 14 minutes – but make no bones about it. You’re working very hard during the high-intensity intervals. If you’re not sweaty and out of breath, you’re not doing it right. Can this type of training really give you results that are comparable to an hour of exercise at a moderate intensity? High-Intensity Exercise is a More Time Efficient Way to Work Out Research on both animals and humans shows that working out at a high intensity leads to greater fat loss than a lower intensity workout even when the total amount of work is the same. Fat loss is as much as 50% greater in animals and humans who work out at a high intensity compared to those who exercise in a more leisurely fashion. It’s also an effective way to condition your heart, proving that you don’t need to walk or run miles for cardiovascular conditioning. It’s a time-efficient way to exercise for people who don’t have hours to spend at the gym. With high-intensity interval training, you accomplish more in less time. Not a bad deal, huh? Exercise Intensity: Why is HIT Training Better? High-intensity interval training triggers a metabolic response that causes your body to burn more fat for hours after an exercise session is complete. This is called the after-burn effect. Moderate-intensity exercise at a steady work level doesn’t give the same post-exercise, fat-burning response. Wouldn’t it be nice to send your metabolism into overdrive for hours after you stop exercising? That’s the beauty of HIT training. High-intensity interval training can even boost your endurance if you’re a runner or cycler who runs or cycles long distances. It’s a good way break through a plateau and add variety to your workout. You can do high-intensity training on any machine at the gym including the elliptical, treadmill, stair climber, or stationary bike or with a jump rope or you canworkout at home with any of my high intensity interval workouts.. The key is to alternate short periods of intense exercise with lower intensity ones that allow you to recover. It’s a tough workout, and you should be in good health to do it. Check with your doctor first before doing HIT training. When you get the okay, give it a try, but do it no more than 3 times a week. Your body needs time to rest after this kind of challenge. References: J. Am. Col. Nutr. 16:68-73. 1997. Metabolism. 43(7): 814-818. 1994. Ultra Omega Burn reviews from Omega Boom.