What if the epic training montage from Rocky IV (YouTube it if you haven't seen it) were real life? While we can't all have a song like Hearts on Fire as our personal soundtrack or own an American Flag robe like Apollo Creed's, we can still take some lessons from Rocky's training.
Let's pretend for a minute that this montage is actually a single exercise session. In the aforementioned film clip, Rocky and Ivan Drago are shown performing interval training involving resistance exercise intermixed with bouts of high intensity cardio. This type of high intensity interval training (HIIT) is extremely popular at the moment.
It involves furious bouts of intense exercise followed by bouts of rest or lower intensity exercise for a short 20-30 min workout. It advertises more "bang" for the proverbial "buck." Programs like T25, P90x, Crossfit, Insanity, the Grit Series, etc. promise less time and more results.
There are some distinct advantages to this type of workout. Here are a few of the commonly cited benefits to HIIT:
•It strengthens your heart
•It builds muscle and burns fat
•It improves metabolism
•It can be done without much equipment
•It can be done almost anywhere
•It is relatively time efficient
•It can be done alone or in a group setting
Perhaps most important of all, HIIT can also be a fun and social way to exercise (say goodbye to the lonely and mind-numbingly boring 60 minutes on that hamster wheel you call a treadmill). The fun and fast-paced qualities cannot be ignored. Whatever gets people unplugged from their devices and plugged into getting moving, getting healthier, and getting fit must surely be a good thing, right?