Mind Ya Fitness

What is High-Intensity Training?

Intrepid Gym is a specialized high-intensity gym. It is unlike any other gym, utilizing functional exercises in a large open area with no machines. At Intrepid Gym, you will be given the tools to successfully utilize high-intensity training, a vastly superior method of training compared to low-intensity exercises (like running on the treadmill or doing 3 sets of 8 reps on the bench press). The benefits of high-intensity is clear.

68% of the nation is overweight or obese according the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Solving this epidemic is multi-faceted and is rooted in our school systems, but that’s for another day. Today’s society is filled with career driven individuals, who spend most of their day sitting, eating food that is not nutritious, and in desperate need of a results driven workout. High-intensity training is one of the most effective ways of exercising. This is successfully completed by doing an assortment of exercises to fatigue and/or achieve failure in a short amount of time. The body quickly adapts to certain training methods (ie. strength training, hypertrophy, endurance training, running, swimming, etc), but by constant variability of length of time and exercises, you keep the body guessing and never adapting, which allows you to fully reap the benefits.

To successfully understand what high-intensity is we must look at energy expenditure (EE) and resting energy expenditure (REE). The greatest factor on EE is volume of work, which is defined by duration and volume of work (repetitions). An individual will expend more energy bench pressing 100 lb. 20 times than 100 lb. 10 times. The workouts are constantly varied at Intrepid Gym, and could range from trying to get as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) of a set of different exercises to doing something every minute for 15 minutes (you can see previous workouts here.) One must also take into account regression, for such activities as running, swimming, bicycling, because our bodies adapt quickly and as we do so we expend less energy. those who complete a high-intensity workout continue to reap the benefits while resting at home. Studies have shown that by high intensity training your REE is increased by about 10% for 24-48 hours over those who do regular exercise and will continue to stay elevated as long as exercise is repeated within that 24-48 hour window. For these reasons high-intensity aerobic exercise training increases aerobic fitness more than low intensity exercise, because you are increasing your VO2 max.

VO2 max is the maximum rate at which an athlete can consume oxygen when performing a specific exercise, adjusted for their weight. Your VO2 max is determined through a procedure called an incremental exercise test, which involves running on a treadmill, breathing into a tube that tests the air you exhale until you reach exhaustion. The higher your VO2 max the more you can physically push yourself. For example it has been determined that if two individuals ran a 5K and one ran it a minute faster, their VO2 max would account for 70% of that difference, or 42 seconds. VO2 max does take account body weight because someone with more muscle will take more oxygen to fuel their muscles. The best way to increase your VO2 max is through high-intensity training.

To fully understand the complexities of high intensity training, a closer look at the chemical changes within the body is necessary. The first and most obvious change is an increase in muscle mass, which is gained following a long-term high-intensity routine. Gaining muscle mass is critical in raising your metabolism and burning fat because muscle is living tissue and takes energy to sustain it. Another change happens within the sympathetic nervous system (a regulatory system for organs, like the flight-or-fight response) with an increase in serum norepinephrine (keeps your heart rate and blood flow high as you recuperate). Continuing, energy flux raises REE. That is when an increase in energy intake (caloric intake) is combined with energy expenditure (high-intensity exercise) it is responsible for a high-flux energy balance in EE, which acts as direct stimulant for REE. Through a very complicated process involving lipid oxidation (oxygen breaking down fat), an increase in post-exercise glycogen synthesis (sugar being replenished for what was used during the workout), increases beta-oxidation (fatty-acid breakdown=fuel), which stimulates a dehydrogenase enzyme activity, which elevates lipid metabolism (your body burns more fat)!

At Intrepid Gym you are never left on your own. You will get to know the staff, and those who are in your class, and you most certainly will be taught the correct form and how to successfully achieve amazing results, whether you are looking to gain muscle, train for an upcoming race, or just want to lose weight and be in shape. Don’t think it’s possible…come and check us out and join the fitness revolution.

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