High-Intensity Interval Training is all the talk lately, and its acronym HIIT couldn’t be better suited to this wildly intensive workout. So, what is HIIT all about? Well, it wouldn’t be confused with dozing in a hammock.
HIIT is a short and intense burst of cardio that clinical research and heavy-breathing practitioners are confirming is better than “solid state” exercise for boosting the body’s endurance and metabolic fitness. In practice, HIIT involves exercising at high levels of exertion near the top of your maximal heart rate—80 to 95 percent is recommended—for brief intervals, followed by recovery periods during which your heart rate heads back down a bit, but does not dip below 40 to 50 percent of maximal heart rate.
The point is to safely attain, and then maintain, your maximal heart rate for as long as you can sustain it, then maintain a bpm that is 40 to 50 percent of your maximum. Yes, you heard right. Having your heart hammer away at about half its maximum is called “recovery” in this regimen.
One’s “maximal heart rate”—how is this defined, exactly? Fortunately, it’s a simple numbers game. Not to reduce the Miracle of Life to brute mechanics, but the fact is, the human heart maxes out at around 220 beats per minute (bpm) optimally. Faster than that and you risk the old dear leaping through your ribcage like a Ridley Scott special effect. This heartrate ceiling is of course variable according to age. To establish your maximal heart rate, you take the number 220 and simply subtract your age. The ‘heart rate maintenance percentages’ follow from that maximal figure.
Supplementing the Pump
HIIT is designed to dial up your body’s engine to maximum capacity in short, tolerable bursts. When all the physiological pistons are firing, you want a premium fuel mixture that can optimize results. As has been explained in other essays, cow-based protein supplements (whey) have side effects, and sometimes contain unwanted holdover additives from the cow-rearing process. KOS’ organic, plant-based, cell-boosting mixtures are as close as the human body can get to ingesting the raw goodness of nature. So which KOS products most functionally augment the HIIT workout? The interval-intensity of HIIT in practice means you want blood flow, endurance, and conversion of your efforts to muscle mass where possible.
KOS Spirulina contains all three of the so-called “branched amino acids”; leucine, isoleucine and valine. These are the sought-after muscle building proteins so beloved of barbell-and-bicep hobbyists. It also works magic on the endothelium—your vascular plumbing’s system-wide wallpaper/blood pressure controller. Spirulina also contains more protein by weight than beef. Never mind that Earth owes everything to Spirulina’s life-giving mass exhalation 2.5 billion years ago!
KOS Beet Root also flatters the endothelium, allowing more free blood flow, which means unimpeded oxygen delivery when you most need it. The HIIT show-stopper with Beet Root is its rich nitrate content. Clinical studies have shown nitrates increase tolerance to high intensity exercise, and produce measurably more bang per unit of burned oxygen.
KOS Chlorella—an ancient underwater life form—has been shown in controlled trials to increase oxygen uptake, effectively increasing aerobic endurance. Subaqueous show-off is one way to put it. Admirable algal pal is another way. And while your overworked system is chugging away near your maximal heart rate, Chlorella’s selenium and iodine are infusing your immune system with chemical super-powers.
KOS Plant-Based Protein contains abundant pea-protein, whose branched amino acids do all the heavy lifting when you are in recovery phase following an eye-bugging HIIT workout.
HIIT may be the newest thing in the Intense Gasping and Sweating workout realm, but the organic meat-free supplements that will best maximize your maximal heart rate? Those have been pushing up through fertile soil for a long, long time. When your body is running at full tilt, you want purity in your fuel tank. We’re KOS. Ask us in.
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