Friday, May 14, 2010

That Sports Girl Booty Kick: Full Throttle Fat Loss

From sprints and hills to squats and flutter kicks, high intensity interval training is guaranteed to make you work as hard as you can but shed some serious fat in the process.

“This is, like, the hardest workout of my life,” Victoria Snee of Mix 102.9 FM told me after taking a class at Tread Fitness in Dallas.

High intensity interval training, or HIIT for short, is a method of working out that uses short bursts of aerobic activity paired with a short recovery period. It’s so effective at increasing the body’s endurance as well as burning calories and fat that it produces rapid, dramatic changes to your shape and fitness level.

Tony Hauser has dropped ten pounds in just seven classes.

“That’s one of the most amazing things is that it’s so quick,” Hauser told me.

One of the reasons it’s such a shredder is because you continue to burn calories after your workout. In theory, you would consume more oxygen recovering from the exercise than if you did just a steady workout at a moderate pace for the same amount of time.

I joined Victoria, Tony and a few other brave souls in a workout for a recent Get Healthy Texas story on CBS11 & TXA21. Ever the guinea pig, I was game to have my butt kicked.  Lord knows I need it.

Dallas’ Tread Fitness uses treadmills, free weights, steps and resistance bands to deliver a full-body workout in essentially an hour. For this particular workout, we ran hill and interval sprints on a treadmill for 15 minutes, followed by a full-body weight workout for 15 minutes. We then repeated the series for an hour-long (hopefully) fat-burner.

The weight work used lower weights but higher repetitions to keep our heart rates elevated. The treadmill work was incredibly tough. We’re talking top speeds of eight to 10 miles per hour for up to a minute and thirty seconds. That’s some serious sprinting.

It’s a solid hour of butt-kicking cardio, muscle-trembling weight work but it’s doable. It also flies by because you’re constantly changing speeds, changing hills, relishing your recovery period and fighting to lift those weights.

I was drenched when I finished. Absolutely drenched. It’s a great workout and you can even feel your body working when you’re done with it.

Tread Fitness co-owner Brandon Wall says a person can burn up to 700 calories in an hour.

The class I took was full of phenomenal athletes who pushed their limits. A person could easily modify the class with a walking workout using speeds ranging from three to four miles per hour.

I like a good butt-kicking, sweat-inducing workout a couple times a week.  I like to feel like I've worked my ass off, both literally and figuratively.  This did just that.

What's your favorite workout?
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