Everyone Can Do High-Intensity Exercises
High-intensity exercising is not as intimidating as it first might sound. With interval cardio or the more advance Peak 8 exercises, you can perform high-intensity exercise with any type of exercise -- jogging, biking, walking, elliptical machine -- in just 20 minutes.
Guidelines for a Successful High-Intensity Exercising Routine
You have many options for a high-intensity exercise routine. Below are two. The first is interval cardio which is done on a treadmill then followed by Dr. Mercola’s Peak 8 exercise which can be done with or without exercise equipment.
High-Intensity Interval Cardio
Each high-intensity exercise, after the initial warm up, is a 60 second power walk followed by a 30 second jog, and then a 15 second sprint. At the end of the 15 second sprint hop onto each side rail with your feet as you hold on to the handle bars. Reduce the treadmill’s speed to baseline. Let the tread slow down a few seconds before you start walking on the tread to recover. Make sure to bring your incline down to 0 for the recovery phase.
Perform 4-8 high-intensity exercises. In between each high-intensity challenge, keep walking at a nice slow pace to aid in recovery.
Each high-intensity exercise repetition gets incrementally more challenging than the one before.
- For your first challenge take the speed up 0.5 mph higher than your baseline, and the incline to 1.5 for beginners, 2.5 for intermediate, or 3.5 for advanced. On each progressive challenge, increase the 60 second power walk by 0.5 degrees higher and 0.1 mph faster.
- At the 60 second mark, break into a traditional jog technique, then increase your speed to 2.0 mph faster than baseline. Increase each 30 second jog by 0.2 mph faster than the one before.
- The speed for the sprint stays the same as for the jog. Simply intensify the jog technique with high knees.
The rest periods get longer as each progressive high-intensity exercise gets more intense. The length of each high-intensity challenge stays constant but the length of each rest increases.
Before you start your next high-intensity exercise challenge, make sure that you totally have your breath back. Also make sure that your energy level comes back to 9 out of 10.
It’s better to rest longer than shorter. One of the main keys to a successful high-intensity exercise session is intensity during each challenge. That’s why it is important to be as recovered as possible before each high-intensity exercise challenge.
You know that you are ready for your next high-intensity exercise challenge when all three of the following occur:
- You’ve recovered your breath
- Your energy level is a 9 out of 10
- You feel strong and you are ready for the next repetition, which will be slightly more challenging
You can perform Peak Fitness high-intensity exercise with any type of exercise you choose. While having access to a gym or exercise equipment will provide you with a larger variety of options, you don't require either. You can just as easily perform a Peak Fitness high-intensity exercise by walking or running on flat ground.
You’ll want to start slow and work your way up, but ultimately you want to exercise vigorously enough so you reach your anaerobic threshold, because this is where the human growth hormone release is triggered.
Since Peak 8 exercises are an even more intense version of high-intensity interval cardio, it requires even less time. The actual sprinting totals only 4 minutes!
Here's what a typical peak fitness high-intensity exercise routine might look like using a recumbent bike:
- Warm up for three minutes.
- Push yourself as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds. You should feel like you couldn't possibly go on another few seconds.
- Recover for 90 seconds.
- Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery 7 more times.
Peak 8 goes right into a 30 second high-intensity exercise at maximum capacity. With Peak 8, by the end of your 30 second high-intensity exercise period you’ll want to reach these markers:
- It will be relatively hard to breathe and talk because you are in oxygen debt.
- You will start to sweat profusely. Typically this is occurs in the second or third repetition.
- Your body temperature will rise.
- Lactic acid increases and you will feel a muscle "burn."
Since this high-intensity exercise is a bit more extreme, be mindful of your current fitness level and don't overdo it when you first start out.
You should only do Peak 8 high-intensity exercises no more than three times a week. If you do Peak 8 more frequently than that you may actually do more harm than good.
Never Reduce High-Intensity Exercise Intensity
As your fitness level improves you can reduce the high-intensity exercise frequency but NOT the intensity. Never reduce the intensity or you will lose the effects, which include:
- Decrease in body fat.
- Improved muscle tone.
- Firmer skin and reduces wrinkles.
- Increase in energy and sexual desire.
- Improved athletic speed and performance.
- Slowing down the aging process and telomere shortening.
Bottom Line on Exercising and High-Intensity Exercising
If you want to be truly healthy, exercise is simply too important to miss. If you’re NOT exercising on a regular basis, you’re missing out on one of the most effective tools known to produce major health improvements. Even late in life, exercise can help slow down the aging process, so you'll be less likely to suffer from chronic disease or disability, and more likely to be fit and trim, agile, mobile and happy. High-intensity exercising is another great way to maximize these benefits and to reach your own personal fitness goals.