Get The Results You Want Within Weeks Once You Learn This Simple Workout Trick
Written by: Jenna Barrington
“The human body is the best work of art.” – Jess C. Scott
Your body is phenomenal. Do you ever take a moment just to breathe and feel the pounding of your heartbeat? You have trillions of cells that build each of your powerful organs and a heart that beats continuously for decades!
No matter where you are at in life or how healthy you are, I want you to know that your body is a MIRACLE.
Because you’re reading this article, I know you care deeply about taking care of your body. You are ambitious in your health goals. You want to THRIVE and feel amazing.
Today I want to tell you about a type of workout that can BOOST your fat loss potential and bring you better and faster results than you’ve ever had before.
Why is this type of workout so effective? Because it optimizes the little powerhouses in your cells called mitochondria.
What Are Mitochondria?
Mitochondria are little organelles that float inside your cells. They are basically the cell’s powerhouses and are responsible for giving a cell the energy it needs to accomplish its daily tasks.
Mitochondria are to your cells as your digestive system is to your body. They take in nutrients, break them down and convert them into energy for the cell to use.
They do this by using oxygen to manufacture ATP through the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates. ATP, simply put, is the fuel source for cells.
Why should this matter to you?
You use ATP constantly. Whether you are running, walking, breathing, doing calculus, or pumping blood through your system, ATP is in use. Without your mitochondria, you wouldn’t be able to do much of anything at all.
Once you learn to optimize ATP production and increase your mitochondria, you will have more energy and be able to work out more effectively.
Cool Facts About Mitochondria
- Some cells have thousands of mitochondria, while others have none. For example, because muscle cells require great amounts of energy, they contain thousands of mitochondria, whereas red blood cells usually have none.
- Heart cells can have as many as 5,000 mitochondria that make up 40% of the cell.
- Mitochondria have their very own DNA structure. Mitochondrial DNA is inherited ONLY from the mother and has changed very little over the past thousands of years.
When your muscles have more mitochondria, they have more energy and can work longer and with more force. You can lift more, run longer and have more strength and endurance in general.
Another reason healthy and plentiful mitochondria are important: when mitochondria produce ATP, free radicals are created as a byproduct. Healthy mitochondria can take care of a normal load of free radicals just fine with the help of antioxidants. However, if there are too many free radicals and not enough mitochondria or if the mitochondria aren’t functioning properly, problems can occur like cell damage, aging and illness.
Again – the more mitochondria you have, the less free radical waste overload, the better you can function and the faster you will be able to reach your fitness goals.
Now we all want more of this energy-giving workout boosting mitochondrial. But how is it done?
High Intensity Interval Training
Your body won’t adapt or create more mitochondria unless it has a reason to do so. In order to create more mitochondria, you have to challenge your cells.
For years, people believed that the only way to make more mitochondria in our muscle cells was through endurance training, or continuous aerobic exercise. This includes any exercise you do at a steady intensity for longer than 20 minutes.
However, more recent research suggests that interval training may be just as effective as endurance training and can be done in shorter amounts of time and with fewer workouts.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a burst and recovery workout that includes quick bouts of high energy-exercise with low-effort intervals of rest. An example would be doing lunge jumps, push-ups, jumping jacks and burpees for 45 seconds each with a 15 second rest in between each one. Afterwards you might jump rope for 3 minutes, rest for 1 minute and then move on to the next workout.
Proven benefits of HIIT include:
- Boosted performance of competitive athletes
- Increased endurance capacity
- Improved blood pressure
- Improved health of recreational exercisers
- Provides the benefits of continuous endurance training with fewer workouts
- Burns fat without muscle loss
- Increases amount of mitochondria!
Some of the biggest roadblocks people tend to hit with going to the gym is lack of time and/or boredom. Dragging yourself to the gym to plod on the treadmill for 40 minutes doesn’t always make you want to leap out of bed. Interval training can be more interesting and takes less time, but can still give you the same or even better results.
A study published in the journal PLOS One had participants bike all out for 20 seconds followed by 2 minutes of slow, easy pedaling. They repeated this three times. They did this workout a few times a week for 6 weeks.
Doesn’t sound too intimidating, right? By the end they showed an increased endurance capacity of 12 percent (more mitochondria!) along with improved blood pressure.
For all you muscle builders out there – HIIT may be for you too. A lot of people who want to bulk or build muscle shy away from cardio exercise, because it is hard to burn off fat without also losing muscle. Studies have shown that HIIT along with weight training preserves muscle while using mostly fat stores for the energy. It is the best win/win in the workout world! You can burn MORE fat, but still keep all your hard-earned muscle.
The bottom line is that we, as athletes and fitness junkies, need our mitochondria. And a single workout using high intensity interval training can activate the birth of new mitochondria just as effectively as a long cardio workout. Find what works best for you, be consistent and let us know how it goes!
Jenna Barrington is studying Therapeutic Nutrition and Holistic Medicine and aspires to be a practitioner, teacher and writer. She is passionate about education and helping others take control of their health.
Jenna lives with her husband in Utah and loves writing, cooking, green smoothies, training her dog, Japanese, spending time at the ocean, bungee jumping, walking barefoot in the grass and being with her family.
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