Looking to get in shape in time for the wedding? Like most things in life, you can’t get to your ideal body weight, and look stunning in your wedding dress, without working your way through it.
You might have already researched and found dozens of get-fit schemes for brides-to-be. There are so many options that it can be downright confusing!
You might be tempted to cheat your way to your ideal body weight by trying out wedding crash diets. A word of caution: such wedding crash diets, which usually involve restricting your calorie intake way below what normal humans need in order to perform day-to-day activities, pose a real and definite threat to your life.
You don’t have to hurt yourself in order to look the best on your wedding day. All you really need is healthy nutrition and a great workout plan in order to be the truly radiant bride you were born to be.
Every diet and workout plan claims to be the best, but, really, what does it take to be called the best bridal workout? For one, the plan must be realistic. If it’s too good to be true, then it’s probably not good at all. Second, it has to fit into the lifestyle of a busy bride-to-be. After all, if it takes too much time, then it will just fall by the wayside. And most of all, it must not compromise one’s health and welfare, or subscribe to dangerous methods that involve starving oneself.
Burst Training (aka, HIIT) is one of the best workouts that will turn you into a glowing bride!
Okay, that’s a big claim, but if you are up to a challenge, it really will burn more fat more quickly than ordinary endurance training (aka, countless boring hours on a treadmill), boost your metabolism, and relieve tons of stress. The requirements mentioned above (basically that it must be safe and realistic) are fulfilled by burst training.
Note that I never said it was easy. No — burst training is a definite challenge! It will make you sweat. It will get you out of breath. It will make your muscles ache, even scream at times. And you must, must, MUST warm up thoroughly beforehand — especially when you’re just starting out — to protect yourself from pulled muscles and the like.
But it’s a FUN challenge, and a realistic one too. And it’s one of the best options for burning fat quickly.
Did I mention you really need to warm up beforehand? I just can’t stress that enough. And be sure to check with your doctor before you decide to pursue burst training, just to be sure it’s safe for you personally. According to the American College of Sports Medicine,
This type of exercise is not right for everyone. While HIIT is safe for most people – from healthy adults to patients with coronary heart disease – it does come with an increased risk of injury and may not be safe for some.
‘HIIT can be crazy hard, and it’s not for everyone,’ said Bracko [Michael Bracko, Ed.D, FACSM]. ‘Always warm up for a long time before starting the intervals. If you have an injury, or if you have not been cleared to exercise, please do not begin a HIIT program until those are resolved.’
What is this thing called Burst Training?
So just what IS burst training, besides the unusual acronym — HIIT — and some sort of magic wedding workout plan?
High-intensity interval training is known by several names: burst training, HIIT, High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE), and sprint interval training. It’s also known as one of THE top choices of brides-to-be who want to lose weight before the wedding.
HIIT takes off from the traditional mode of interval training, and involves alternating intense anaerobic exercises followed by medium intensity periods of recovery — all in a span of seven to twenty minutes. In other words, it’s quick but very effective.
Because each session is so intense, it isn’t as long as most workout plans — yet it produces the same if not better results. The usual HIIT session starts with a warm up period, then around three to ten reps of high intensity exercises, with less-intense exercises in between to allow the body to recover. Finally, it ends with a cool down period.
The high intensity exercises should almost be at maximum intensity, while the less-intense exercises must have an intensity level of around 50%. The length and number of repetitions of each exercise depend on the person.
HIIT is known by three regimes: the Tabata regime, Gibala regime, and the Timmons regime. The Tabata regime started in 1996, based on a study by Professor Izumi Tabata. He studied the exercise regimen of Olympic speedskaters, characterized by 20 seconds of intense exercises then 10 seconds of rest subsequently, all in eight repetitions. This was the workout of the speedskaters four times a week.
The Gibala regime, on the other hand, was the product of Professor Gibala’s several years of research on high-intensity exercise. The details of the regime were first published in 2009. In 2011, another less intense version of the exercise was published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Gibala is considered a gentler method, for use by people who are just starting out. It includes a 3-minute warm up, then 8-12 cycles of 60-second bursts at only 60% intensity, each followed by a 60-second recovery, with a 5-minute cool down at the end.
The most recent version is the Timmons regime by Professor Timmons of the University of Birmingham. This regime aired in a February 2012 episode of the BBC Horizon. This method also starts with a brief warm up and end with a cool down. But it only include 3 bursts: each burst include 2 minutes of gentle, medium-intensity exercise followed by 20 seconds of full-throttle push-to-the-max intensity.
All three HIIT variants have one thing in common: they’ve been proven to help people lose weight without countless hours in the gym or the dangerous consequences of crash diets. HIIT has several benefits—each one reinforces the fact that with HIIT, you can be the glowing, radiant bride who is turning everyone’s heads on your big day.
[box type=”warning” align=”alignleft” ]Before you begin any exercise or diet plan, be sure to check with your personal physician first, just to be sure it’s safe for you!
HIIT (aka, “burst training”) is a serious health program, and will need the input of a physician. The medical community generally agrees that it’s good and healthy for the body, but a physician must rule out any health risks before you undergo a health program that will alter your lifestyle for the next few months.
I can’t imagine any other exercise that has a longer list of benefits than high-intensity interval training. Check out the following articles for specific benefits of burst training: