Workout videos and gadgets such as “6 Minute Abs” and “10 Minute Trainer” are all geared to help us get fit in as little time as possible. It seems in our society we are so over-burdened with our sedentary “To Do Lists” that we have literally cut our physical activity time to just minutes a day. Yes, I am being sarcastic, but also realistic about how we have “evolved” as a society.
The American College of Sports Medicine is aware of these time and physical constraints, and have released a new study this month which focuses on “High Intensity Circuit Training Using Body Weight (HICT): Maximum Results With Minimal Investment.” The study was conducted at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida and focused on elite performers.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate how to manage energy as well as perform at a high level. Study leaders wanted to devise a safe plan to fit into the demands of their elite performers' lifestyles.
“When facing seemingly infinite demands, one’s ability to manage and expand physical energy can be severely compromised. This can result in persistent fatigue (physical, but also emotional and mental) and a growing level of disengagement with one’s career, family, friends, and personal well-being, which can ultimately lead to performance failure.”
Study leaders evaluated that both aerobic and resistance training were two components needed to achieve a higher level of energy and “prevent fatigue, and sustain engagement in those things that really matter to them.” In other words, these things establish balance in their lives.
The HICT payoff they also found was also a quick way to lose weight. “When resistance training exercises using multiple large muscles are used with very little rest between sets, they can elicit aerobic and metabolic benefits.”
Chris Jordan, one of the study leaders quoted on NYTimes.com said, “There’s very good evidence that high-intensity interval training provides many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time.”