Remember the scene from Something About Mary where Ben Stiller picks up the hitch-hiker?
Hitchhiker: You heard of this thing, the 8-Minute Abs?
Ted: Yeah, sure, 8-Minute Abs. The exercise video.
Hitchhiker: Yeah, this is going to blow that right out of the water. Listen to this: 7... Minute... Abs.
Ted: That's good. Unless somebody comes up with 6-Minute Abs. Then you're in trouble, huh?
Hitchhiker: No! No, no, not 6! I said 7. Nobody's comin' up with 6. Who works out in 6 minutes? You won't even get your heart goin’, not even a mouse on a wheel.
Ted: That‘s a good point.
Well, Ted and the hitch-hiker were wrong… they hadn’t heard about high intensity interval training (HIIT for short).
The effectiveness of interval training is nothing new. Though, recently researchers have been looking at whether endurance can be increased with only a few minutes of strenuous exercise, instead of hours.
The science of HIIT
Martin Gibala, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada performed a study with surprising results. A group of college students rode a stationary bike at a sustainable pace for 90 to 120 minutes. Another set of students completed a series of short, strenuous intervals of 20 to 30 seconds at the highest intensity they could stand. After a four minute rest they repeated the cycle four to six times, totalling less than three minutes of very intense exercise.
Each group exercised three times a week. After two weeks, both groups showed almost identical increases in their fitness and endurance even though one group had exercised for six to nine minutes per week, and the other about five hours. The short, intense workouts also aided weight loss and increased the students’ metabolic rate (hello afterburn!). Other researchers have found that similar, intense, brief sessions of exercise also improve cardiac health.
But…there is a catch. It has to hurt. Dr Gibala says for those six minutes to be effective you have to train “well outside your comfort zone”.
How Lagree Fitness ties in
The study, and the principles of HIIT, echo the science behind Lagree Fitness:
High Intensity Exercises + Correct Form + Sufficient Recovery = Improved Performance and Improved Body Composition
While we don’t promise 6 Minute Abs, you’ll find a few 45 minute Megaformer classes much easier to fit into your schedule than hours at the gym every day.
The results speak for themselves. Sometime in the ten years after making Something About Mary Ben Stiller heard about Lagree Fitness. He worked out with Sebastien Lagree in the lead up to making Tropic Thunder in 2008, turning him from wimpy Ted into action hero Tug Speedman.
Ready to get your guns out?