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How to boost and tone your body with HIIT

The general wish of those who approach the world of training for the first time is to improve their body, desiring a fit and athletic body. When you dream of a toned body, you usually focus too much on the stressful thought of having to take a path dotted with slimming diets, non-stop cardio exercises and lots of sacrifices.

However, what leads to the achievement of a toned body is not solely attributable to the mere decrease in the much-feared digit that appears on the scale.

Rather, we must aim to change our own mass: therefore, to decrease in fat mass by eliminating the excesses that accumulate in various parts of our body, in favour of an increase in lean mass, toning our muscles to obtain an ideal silhouette.

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It is not surprising that this often leads to a slight, if not imperceptible, change in weight, because muscles – the main component of lean mass – weigh more than fat at equal volume. So don’t be scared if the scale marks the same or higher weight, you can always double check by looking in the mirror.

Why should you want a toned body?

The reason why we aspire to a toned body is sometimes related only to an aesthetic factor. However, we must not forget that dedicating our body must have at its core the improvement of our health. The overwhelming percentage of lean mass in the body guarantees an increased efficiency of our body, not only in sporting activities, but also in daily life and in the fight against body aging.

It has in fact been widely demonstrated that a toned body with a low percentage of fat mass compared to lean mass, has considerable health and anti-ageing advantages.

The absolute secret to a toned body obviously does not exist, but there are many valuable activities that can allow anyone to meet their ideal body in a relatively short time. The two key aspects to consider are nutrition and physical activity. The first is what allows us to get the energy to face everyday life, the second allows us to increase our consumption of energy – and therefore of calories – depending on the type of effort.

Diet, not fasting

Diet, not fasting

DIET

When we talk about nutrition, the first word we associate it with is diet: in the common language we give this term a meaning of “dietary restriction”, when in reality diet means in general what we ingest daily during the day. Paying attention to how we eat is certainly a starting point to manage our resources properly and follow a nutrition that brings maximum health benefits. Yet, diet alone would not be nearly as effective to our health if not associated with proper training.

The role of high-intensity training, or HIIT

The role of high-intensity training, or HIIT

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HIIT

In the search for a toned and slim body, aerobic training is often considered to be the preferred type of training for weight loss or, to be more precise, for fat; on the contrary, for building muscle mass, high intensity training is proposed.

A toned body needs these two

A now widespread training methodology has taken hold in many realities, both in the world of fitness and in sports, and it is demonstrating its effectiveness: HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT consists of workouts with variable duration, all sharing training intervals characterised by either high or low intensity training. The link between maximum effort and active recovery is the key to achieving the results we want relatively quickly.

Taking the Boost class at Skillathletic as an example, the total time of this HIIT class is about an hour, consisting of warm-up, workout and cool-down. In the workout part, moments of maximum effort are interspersed with moments when the intensity drops dramatically with simpler exercises, or moments when you can completely rest. The link between work and recovery is proportionate: it can be minutes or seconds, but it usually follows an activity/rest ratio of about 2:1.

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In Boost, HIIT training is carried out with high intensity exercises, with or without the aid of weights: in the interval of time dedicated to training, the objective is to complete the circuit by performing the greatest number of repetitions with a given instrument or distance covered with one of the equipment of the Skill line. At the end of this interval, there is always a rest period that will allow you to catch your breath and prepare for the next block.

The best way to evaluate the intensity of your effort and optimize your workouts is through your heart rate: thanks to the heart rate monitor, you can directly view, during Boost and other Skillathletic classes, the trend of your beats in moments of high intensity as opposed to the recovery phase. The HIIT methodology in general, and the Boost class in particular, is based on the different stimuli to which you subject your body: the different mechanisms of energy production used alternate continuously going to further stimulate the metabolism compared to a traditional training at constant intensity.

When the heart rate is high, the effort in HIIT consists of anaerobic muscle work that helps to strengthen and tone the muscles, excellent for building lean mass and strengthening bones and joints. On the contrary, pauses, which can be active, with simple and light intensity exercises, or passive, where you can stop and rest freely, are always shorter than the intervals of effort, allowing the body to always recover partially. This recurrent and frequent alternation keeps the aerobic system active, thereby burning and calories, even during moments of recovery.

Keep burning calories even after training with HIIT!

Keep burning calories even after training with HIIT!

BMR

Another aspect that makes HIIT the best choice for building a toned body is given by the peculiar characteristic that caloric consumption continues even after the end of the class. In fact, during HIIT the body has used a lot of energy and once finished it must try to bring the body back to a state of rest, continuing to work to provide you with the strength you need in your daily life.

For this reason, metabolism remains high burning many calories for a time that can vary from a few minutes to several hours, raising the basal metabolic rate (or BMR).

At the same time, HIIT workouts like Boost, compared to other types of workouts, such as pure high-intensity workouts or long cardiac workouts at constant intensity, allows a higher consumption of fat.

Ideal to promote weight loss

Another peculiar aspect of Skillathletic workouts that are inspired by the HIIT methodology is the extreme variety of exercises proposed. The work intervals can be numerous and always different from one session to the next, allowing you to experience many exercises with every possible equipment.

Thanks to this, besides giving an added value to your training allowing you to stimulate your body in an always different way, in HIIT classes like Boost or Brave you will never get bored because of monotonous routines: each class is meant to be fun, engaging and a sure-fire approach to reach your ideal toned body!

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