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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 heart rate 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.
Why this sudden talk about bursting hearts?
If you’ve guessed (or gleaned from the article’s title) that we’re talking about HITT, you nailed it.
HITT and Your Energized Heart
What does HITT stand for? High-Intensity Interval Training. It's all the talk lately, and the acronym HITT 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. Solid state? In cardio circles the term refers to an uninterrupted heart rate-raising workout without intervals; 30 minutes on the Stair Master, say, or fitful running from a bear on a camping trip.
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.
HITT Supplementation from the Purest Energy Source
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 in this prize-winning series, cow-based protein supplements (whey) have troubling 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. This is not marketing hyperbole.
In the scheme of things (since the Big Bang, anyway), the universe is decorated with floating rocks and enormous nuclear furnaces, hung here and there like lamps. These lamps are throwing off indescribably immense volumes of energy.
If you are lucky enough to be a wet rock in orbit around one of these things, you will find that not only are you in orbit around an enormous life-giving lamp, you are revolving on your axis like a rotisserie chicken. It's as if the natural mechanism is designed to evenly paint these drifting rocks with a coat of energy. Go figure.
Nature's Energy Dissipation and Your Workout
How much energy are we talking about? A smallish planet called Earth is a good example of the phenomenon. Every hour, Earth receives an evenly distributed 430 quintillion Joules of solar energy. That's a little more energy than the planet's entire human population uses in a year.
Our planet is effectively carpeted with plant matter. (Earth is decreasingly green, a subject for another day). The plant kingdom takes in a manageable 1 - 2% of the sun's energy blast, but of this amount, only 5 - 25% of that absorbed energy is transferred to herbivorous (plant-eating) animals. When those animals are in turn eaten by carnivores, there is a similar degradation in the amount of energy transferred.
What you end up with is a sort of pyramid scheme where most of the available life energy is concentrated at the bottom of the food chain -- in the plants. This is where the sun's life-giving energy makes landfall. Less and less energy is available through ingestion as you move up the food chain.
Which is another way of saying, eating plant-based matter is as close as we can get to ingesting the raw energy of the sun.
Augmenting Your HITT Workout with Plant Energy
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 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.
Purity in the Fuel Tank
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, and short of eating the sun, plant matter is as close as you can get. We’re KOS. Ask us in.