Personal Trainer Ryan Miller #FITin15

8 Reasons Why HIIT Training Works

Benefits of HIIT Training

Time is one of our most precious resources and we never seem to have enough of it. Some days, it might be easy to skip a workout because you feel that you might not have enough time to make it worthwhile. But you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to see results—you simply need to make sure that the time you do spend exercising is as efficient and effective as possible.

Here are eight reasons why you can spend less time exercising with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and still get great results:

  1. Anaerobic interval training uses the body’s reserves of energy and, after a workout, metabolism stays elevated and continues to burn calories for hours after the workout. This is due to something called the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) effect. With HIIT, you not only burn a lot of calories during the workout, but because of the high intensity you will continue to burn calories as your body replaces energy and repairs muscle proteins damaged during exercise.
  2. Not only does your body metabolize fat for fuel during the workout, during the post-exercise recovery period after HIIT exercise the body will tap into fat stores for the energy required to restore it to its normal resting state.
  3. Your body burns calories at a rate of 5 calories per liter of oxygen consumed. In general, using exercise to increase the oxygen demands on your body will increase total caloric expenditure both during and after the workout. Short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise involving a lot of muscle mass require a tremendous amount of oxygen, during both the work interval and the recovery periods.
  4. HIIT produces a significant amount of metabolic waste, including hydrogen ions and lactic acid. The major reason for an active recovery interval is to remove these waste products to allow the involved muscles to perform the next high-intensity bout. As a result, HIIT workouts train your body to tolerate and quickly recover from periods of high-intensity exercise.
  5. HIIT can promote a number of physiological benefits, such as increased mitochondrial density, improved stroke volume, improved oxidative capacity of muscle and enhanced aerobic efficiency, which was previously thought to occur only as a result of long, slow distance (LSD) training protocols.
  6. HIIT places a significant amount of metabolic stress on muscle tissue. As part of the repair process, the body will produce elevated levels of human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 to repair damaged muscle proteins, which lead to increases in muscle volume and definition.
  7. Many fitness clubs and workout studios are applying this science to develop group fitness programs that feature HIIT workouts in formats that are 30 minutes or less. These formats enable you to do more work and receive numerous health benefits in less time.
  8. Exercise intensity can be measured with a scale of perceived exertion, where 1 is low intensity and 10 is the highest intensity you can tolerate. For the greatest benefits, HIIT should be performed at an eight or higher for periods lasting 30 seconds or less (or to the point of breathlessness). Recovery intervals should be as long or slightly longer than the work interval (or until breathing is quick, but under control). An effective workout should have a five- to seven-minute warm-up period to elevate heart rate, a minimum of five high-intensity work intervals and a four- to six-minute cool-down period to help start the recovery process.

One of the most common misperceptions about exercise that it is necessary to spend hours busting your butt and sweating buckets to obtain benefits like weight loss, muscle growth and improved overall health and well-being. Instead of working longer, work smarter by using short intervals of extremely high-intensity exercise. HIIT is extremely effective, but it can place a tremendous amount of stress on the body. Therefore, it should only be performed two to three times a week with at least 48 hours between exercise sessions to allow a full replenishment of energy stores and to repair of involved muscle tissue. It is still possible to exercise the day after a HIIT session, but it should be a low- to moderate-intensity activity and use different muscle groups or movement patterns than those used in the high-intensity workout.

For individuals with a training goal related to increasing aerobic endurance, such as competing in a 10K, marathon or triathlon, it is still important and necessary to do high-volume LSD training. For individuals training for an endurance event, using a HIIT protocol can help to maintain your training efforts on those days when time is short and the temptation to skip a workout is at its peak.

To try out HIIT training, attend our next #FITin15! Spend a short time with an expert personal trainer to learn proper form and specific exercises to carry into your own workouts — and, have fun while doing it!

Upcoming FIT in 15 events: Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 AM | Tuesday, April 23 at 7:00 AM | Tuesday, April 23 at 6:00 PM

Article originally published by Pete McCall on

NAC Mitch Med Ball Slam

3 Total Body Workouts with a Medicine Ball

Medicine balls are more than just good for adding weight to a set of sit-ups – these tools are easy to grip, catch, and throw, making them ideal for revving up your strength training routine. Using medicine balls are an excellent way to enhance upper body power and strength while getting a cardio work out at the same time. The medicine ball is one of the most versatile tools in fitness, and it can be applied to any goal. Here are just a few workouts — check out our fit tip with personal trainers, Mitch Blaak for even more! Watch Mitch Blaak’s Medicine Ball Video here.

Wall Balls

Stand about two feet from the wall, facing it. Make sure not to stand too far from the wall – you want to toss the ball up, not forward.

Keeping the ball at your chest, do a full squat. Stand up fast as you extend the arms and throw the ball high up against the wall. Catch it and repeat immediately. Don’t pause at any point of the movement – try to tie the squat, stand up, and arm extension together into one smooth movement.

Squat Thrusts

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Hold the medicine ball at your chest, then do a full squat. Stand up fast as you extend your arms overhead, then bring the ball back to your chest and repeat. Try not to pause at any point and tie all the movements together into one smooth motion.

Squat Throws

Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Keep the ball at your chest and do a full squat. As you stand up, extend the arms and throw the ball up in the air. Don’t pause at any point of the movement—try to tie the squat, stand up, and arm extension together into one smooth movement.

Interested quick workouts? Fill out the form below to learn about our FIT in 15 events happening every month!

Ciara Personal Trainer Newtown PA

FIT in 15

Is it really possible to be fit in just 15 minutes? Spend a short time with an expert personal trainer to learn proper form and specific exercises to carry into your own workouts — and, have fun while doing it! #FITin15

The workouts will vary month to month so you can always learn something new for your workout routine.

Upcoming FIT in 15 events:

Saturday, June 22 at 10:30 AM

Saturday, June 29 at 10:30 AM

To reserve your #FITin15 spot, please fill out the form below.

NAC Warm Up Stretch

How to Warm-Up and Cool-Down

Done correctly, warming-up and cooling-down may offer help in reducing your risk of injury and improving your athletic performance.

Before you jump on the elliptical machine or hit the running trails, consider doing a brief warm-up first. And, think about following your workout with a quick cool-down session. Sure, a warm-up and cool-down may add a few minutes to your exercise routine, but they also might reduce stress on your heart and other muscles.

Why warm-up and cool-down?

Warm-ups and cool-downs generally involve doing your activity at a slower pace and reduced intensity.

Warming-up helps prepare your body for aerobic activity. A warm-up gradually revs up your cardiovascular system by raising your body temperature and increasing blood flow to your muscles. Warming-up may also help reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury.

Cooling-down after your workout allows for a gradual recovery of pre-exercise heart rate and blood pressure. Cooling-down may be most important for competitive endurance athletes, such as marathoners, because it helps regulate blood flow. Cooling-down doesn’t appear to help reduce muscle stiffness and soreness after exercise, but more research is needed.

Although there’s controversy about whether warming-up and cooling-down can prevent injuries, proper warm-ups and cool-downs pose little risk. Plus, they seem to give your heart and blood vessels a chance to ease into — and out of — an exercise session. So if you have the time, consider including a warm-up and cool-down in your workout routine.

How to warm-up:

Warm-up right before you plan to start your workout. In general, warm-up by focusing first on large muscle groups, such as your hamstrings. Then you can do exercises more specific to your sport or activity, if necessary.

Begin by doing the activity and movement patterns of your chosen exercise, but at a low, slow pace that gradually increases in speed and intensity. This is called a dynamic warm-up. A warm-up may produce mild sweating, but generally won’t leave you fatigued.

Examples of warm-up activities:

  • To warm-up for a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
  • To warm-up for a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
  • To warm-up for swimming, swim slowly at first and then pick up the tempo as you’re able.

How to cool-down:

Cooling-down is similar to warming-up. You generally continue your workout session for five minutes or so, but at a slower pace and reduced intensity.

Examples of cool-down activities:

  • To cool-down after a brisk walk, walk slowly for five to 10 minutes.
  • To cool-down after a run, walk briskly for five to 10 minutes.
  • To cool-down after swimming, swim some leisure laps for five to 10 minutes.

A word about stretching:

If stretching exercises are part of your workout routine, it’s best to do them after the warm-up or cool-down phase, when your muscles are already warm.

Stretching can improve range of motion about a joint and flexibility. Stretching may also help improve your performance in some activities by allowing your joints to move through their full range of motion. However, studies haven’t consistently shown that stretching helps prevent muscle soreness or injury.

Be kind to your body:

Finding time for regular aerobic workouts — plus warming up and cooling down — can be challenging. But, with a little creativity, you can probably fit it in. For example, walking to and from the gym can be your warm-up and cool-down.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To read the Mayo Clinic’s full article, please visit 

FIT in 15 events coming soon!

Every month the NAC will have a 15 minute workout event that will highlight a personal trainer and get you warming-up or cooling-down for your workouts! The FIT in 15 events will begin at the top of the hour so feel free to pop-in wherever you are in your workout.

If you are interested in learning about the NAC’s FITin15 workouts and how to add warming-up and cooling-down to your workout please fill out the form below. 


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