Here at Paleo Ireland, we are committed to fostering healthy lifestyles focussed on both diet and exercise. It has been seen time and again how focussing on only one aspect of this dynamic leaves us falling short in terms of fitness and health.
Recently, we have been exploring high intensity training, otherwise known as HIT Training, through a Body by Science approach developed by medical doctor, Doug McGuff. McGuff believes that ‘strength training is the single most effective public health initiative that we could undertake.’
HIT Training is a type of exercise that has certain parameters which must be followed to both deliver results and ensure adequate recovery. This is not the type of program you can jump into with great gusto and perform every day for a month. Rather, HIT Training, and in particular, the Body by Science approach, requires a strict code about how to train, how long you should train for and how often.
Some of the key features of this Body by Science approach are as follows:
The workouts in this program are an average of 12 minutes long. This doesn’t make for an easy session, but it is short. You only perform enough exercise to achieve the desired results. Anything more than this amount cuts into your reserves and diminishes the effects of your training.
The intensity of this workout should be so high that complex movements are too cumbersome. Instead, simple compound movements, such as pulldowns, chest, leg and overhead press and rows are favoured. These movements hit all major body groups and can be done well by most of us regardless of our skill level in the gym.
These exercises are performed in one set each. However, you must do it to failure – that’s until you literally cannot do any more. If you’re doing the exercises right, you will feel it.
With these short, high intensity workouts it is key that you push your body as hard as you possibly can during that short time period. You should have nothing left in your tank by the end of the workout. This is achieved by performing each rep in a slow and controlled manner. The muscles should be under pressure the entire time. This produces the desired response in your body.
This is not a ‘by the way’. When you are training under the HIT method you will leave everything you have on the gym floor. Your body will feel shattered and that’s how it should be. In fact, some people find that they feel dizzy or slightly queasy after a HIT session initially. This is because you put your body under strain to the point that it is forced to react, this burns more fat and keeps that reaction happening for hours after your workout. However, doing this for any longer than necessary can wear your body out and lead to injury. It is imperative that you allow lots of time to recover between each session for best results.
Of course, if you’re going to be carrying out exercise which puts your body under considerable strain you also need to ensure that you are providing it with adequate fuel to keep you going.
This means plenty of quality protein, good fats and low G.I. carbohydrates. The food your body needs to refuel after a HIT workout is essentially the components of a paleo diet. So, it follows that this type of training complements a paleo lifestyle very well.
This all sounds great but at Paleo Ireland, we want to see results first hand so that we know whether something works before suggesting it to our customers. To this end, we are currently half way through a ten-week study using a Body by Science approach coupled with our Paleo Ireland meals. There are five subjects in the study and they have been performing 10 minutes training per week in the above-mentioned style. So far, we are happy to report, the numbers have been off the charts. The transformation in all participants has been very encouraging and we are delighted with the results so far. The study has another five weeks to run and providing that these results are consistent across the study, we look forward to incorporating this style of training into our range of offerings going forward.
So, if you’re looking for a style of training which can deliver amazing results with a fraction of time spent in the gym, the Body by Science approach may just be for you. Watch this space…