Body Weight Training, Hiit among Hottest Fitness Trends

By Kelly, Jack | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), December 30, 2014 | Go to article overview

Body Weight Training, Hiit among Hottest Fitness Trends


Kelly, Jack, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


The hottest fitness trends at present are body weight training and high intensity interval training, according to the ninth annual survey of 3,400 health and fitness professionals worldwide by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Yoga is the most popular specialty class, with Bikram yoga (26 postures performed over 90 minutes in a hot room) especially in vogue. Zumba, once the most popular fitness class, is passe. No. 9 in ACSM's survey in 2012, Zumba fell to 34 this year.

Body weight training is resistance training in which you use your own weight, rather than barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells or exercise machines, to build muscle and strength. The most familiar examples are pushups, pullups and burpees (squat thrusts to Army and Marine veterans).

High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, involves short bursts of intense activity, followed by brief periods of rest. You can burn more fat and build more muscle in the half hour or less it takes to perform a typical HIIT routine than you can in an hour or more of conventional aerobic or resistance training, multiple studies have shown.

Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata demonstrated that in his Tabata routine, 20 seconds of all-out cycling, followed by 10 seconds of slow peddling, repeated for four minutes increased VO2 max (maximal aerobic capacity) as much as did 45 minutes of long, slow cardio.

You're burning fat long after you've left the gym, because HIIT raises your metabolic rate and keeps it high for many hours. A Tabata routine burns fat almost exclusively, not both fat and muscle, as conventional cardio exercises tend to do.

A typical Tabata routine consists of a 5-minute warm-up, a 4- minute all-out cycle, 2 minutes of rest, followed by another 4- minute cycle with a different exercise, and a 5-minute cool down. …

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