While some celebrities like to say that they are genetically blessed with a high metabolism, many other stars admit to working hard to stay in shape. Trainers, nutritionists, strict training schedules and diets—being a celebrity is a full time job when it comes to maintaining appearances.
However, sometimes, movie and music stars are required to get into shape and slim down quickly for an upcoming audition, tour, or red carpet event. Often, this is when celebrities turn to high-intensity interval training.
Image courtesy of hin255 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is considered a form of cardiovascular exercise, geared towards torching calories and fat. It can help tone, and may help musculature seem more defined by melting off the layer of subcutaneous fat; however, it is unlikely to build significant amounts of muscle.
HIIT alternates short bursts of high intensity work with slightly longer rest periods. High intensity means anywhere from 80% to maximum capacity for 30 seconds. For example, a dead sprint would be considered maximum capacity.
At the same time, “rest period” does not mean a complete stop (though for some forms, like Tabata, rest periods are shorter and the high intensity portions are at max levels for shorter periods of time)—you continue running, or jump roping, or whatever form of cardio exercise you picked at medium intensity, which is about 50% of your max, for a minute. Then you repeat the intervals three to ten times.
Image courtesy of Simo82 / Wikimedia Commons
Celebrities Who Practice HIIT
HIIT is super-efficient, ideal for people with busy schedules—like our favorite celebs—as each session lasts anywhere between four to 20 minutes. Research suggests that people training through HIIT see more progress with just 15 minutes a day, three times a week, compared to someone doing steady state cardio for an hour a day, three times a week.
HIIT is so versatile and effective that many celebrities have turned to this workout at one point or another to shed some stubborn weight. Ideal for almost any body type and level of fitness, celebrity fans range from Giuliana Rancic, host on E! News, to hip-hop queen and movie star Queen Latifah, to the much envied soccer player and one of the fittest men on earth, David Beckham.
Benefits of HIIT
Even though HIIT is considered cardio exercise, the caloric burn continues well after the training session, much like strength-training. The average person will experience a boost in their metabolism anywhere from 24 to 72 hours after a bout of HIIT, which adds up to nine times more calories than a traditional cardio workout.
HIIT helps you burn fat while preserving muscle. Prolonged traditional, or steady state cardio can lead to muscle loss, while weight training and HIIT workouts allow people trying to lose weight to hang on to the muscle while shedding the fat.
Also, HIIT does not require special equipment, so it’s easy to start training almost anywhere you have space and a stopwatch. While high intensity interval training is not known for major muscle-sculpting benefits, the exercise you choose for intervals can improve the strength of certain parts of the body.
Hill sprints or steps are excellent ways to boost your bottom while interval training. Interval running outdoors or on a treadmill and cycling (either outdoors or using a stationary bike) are great for improving tone and strength in your legs. HIIT on rowing machines is not only a killer cardio workout, but also works the core, upper body, and legs as well.
The perfect workout for time-strapped individuals who want to see quick results, HIIT’s popularity amongst the Hollywood set is no surprise. Copy this celebrity favorite to see fantastic results of your own.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer from California. She writes on a variety of topics, but as the owner of Isogenicscleanse.com she has a special interest in health and fitness. She works-out on a daily basis and knows first-hand the benefits of HIIT.