A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning in 2008, compared two workout sessions with identical exercise volume in terms of number of sets, reps, weight used and cardio intervention. However, the exercises were performed in a different order. During the first workout the resistance and cardio were performed separately and one after another. Yet the second workout was performed with cardio exercise inserted between the sets of the resistance training. Remarkably, the second work out produced 10 times as much fat loss compared to the first workout, with improved muscle mass gains, lower body strength and endurance; this was attributed to the intermixing of the exercises.
The second workout or the intermix exercise results were extremely impressive and there is a strong correlation between these outcomes and activation of the 3 energy systems used in metabolic conditioning. These energy systems are as follows:
In addition it activates ‘EPOC’ or the after burn via the release of the catecholamines, cortisol and this in turn releases the growth hormones and testosterone. This suppresses/controls blood insulin and this mechanism increases the body’s metabolism to burn fat and to mobilise muscle/liver glycogen. The metabolic and mechanical stress of heavy weights, high intensity sprints and high number of reps is the catalyst of these key hormonal responses. Therefore, it is very much a training adaptation via an increase in exercise tolerance and utilizing lactic acid regeneration.
Using HIIT Training
High-intensity interval training is defined as repeated bouts of exercise at the maximal intensity; that reflect your peak VO2 max with active rest intervals in between. The maximal intensity bouts of exercise and active rest intervals can be manipulated to suits the fitness levels of the individual, as the fitter they are; the shorter the active rest intervals and the longer the blasts of activity are. Research has indicated that HIIT training to get the best results; should be between 4-12 minutes in duration with an exercise frequency of no more than twice a week.
However, conventional cardio programs dictate that for the best fat burning results you should be exercising at 65% of their heart rate maximum for between 30-50 minutes, at least 5 times per week. This is a training myth, as this time consuming conventional approach is detrimental to muscle gain and does not shed as much fat as HIIT training.
The After Burn Or EPOC
EPOC is described as the ‘amount of oxygen above resting requirements for a period of time after exercise has finished’ and is similarly termed the after burn. It normally occurs following a demanding activity and eliminates the oxygen debt within the body. EPOC is the process of returning the body back to its resting state by the use of oxygen and to counteract the metabolic actions that have occurred whilst exercising. These include repairing damaged cells, refueling energy stores, balancing hormones and neutralizing the lactic acid and all of these tasks need the energy to perform them. After an HIIT session, the following benefits can occur up to 24 hours post-exercise.
Work Out Plans
The following two work out plans has been designed using the intermix theory and exercising large muscle groups to burn fat and increase lean body mass. You can mix and match the exercises with squats, press ups, explosive jumps, power cleans, squats and deadlifts.
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