What’s the very best way to lose weight? Most people now agree that it probably has something to do with HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training. This is a training format that challenges you to divide your time spent in the gym between high-intensity bursts of sprinting or otherwise exerting yourself at 100% MHR and periods of active recovery at around 70%.
But what if you could do something to make this HIIT method even more impressive? How can you get even greater results from what is already a very effectual tool?
The answer is to use concurrent training…
What is Concurrent Training?
Simply, concurrent training is a form of training that combines cardio and resistance into one exercise. This is why it can also sometimes be referred to as ‘resistance cardio’. The idea is then that you are going to perform some kind of rapid movement but while doing it, you will be pushing or pulling against some kind of weight or resistance.
An obvious example of this would be to ride a stationary bike but to increase the resistance setting to ten so that you have to use more strength in your muscles to turn the pedals.
Other examples of concurrent training include certain forms of calisthenics – like clapping push-ups or push-ups – as well as boxing, swimming, rowing on a heavy setting or the kettlebell swing. The kettlebell swing is of particular interest here because it allows you to lift quite a heavyweight in a manner that is conducive to long sequences of exertion.
Why it Matters
So why is concurrent training so important? What’s exciting about it?
There are a couple of things that make this such a great too. The first is that by combining resistance and cardio in one routine, you are actually significantly increasing the challenge. You’ll find it harder to move your limbs due to the resistance and thus you’ll need more fast-twitch muscle fiber. This requires more energy and so you’ll burn more calories than performing the same movements without the resistance.
Better yet though, when you perform concurrent training, you’ll be protecting your muscle from breakdown. HIIT does this to an extent already but when you include resistance work, you effectively send a strong signal to the body that you need the muscle and it’s not just dead weight slowing you down.
In biological terms, you will be breaking down muscles and flooding them with metabolites, both of which are signals that encourage growth. You’ll produce more growth hormones and more testosterone and these both trigger growth and fat loss.
Better yet, building muscle is great for weight loss goals. That’s because muscle makes you look more toned and honed and is often the quickest way to get the physique you want. Moreover, muscle is metabolically active meaning that you burn more calories by simply having muscle. If you add muscle work into your routine, you’ll burn more fat even when you’re asleep!