Some countries have relaxed lockdown norms & gyms & fitness centres are functioning. However, a lot of countries have still imposed restrictions which have narrowed options for workout which can be undertaken. Although a handful of people have built a small gym at home or have started using resistance bands for weight/resistance training, a larger portion are still perplexed about how they should maintain their workout regime.

In Moscow, lockdown restrictions ban jogging & cycling altogether. In the UK, only once per day of outing is allowed for exercise while the gyms & health clubs remain closed.

Given such constraints on time, space & equipment, what are the workout options available? Today we are going to dig into MRT, HIIT & Moderate Intensity Continuous Training (MICT)

Let us take a situation when you have only 15 to 20 minutes for workout & you want to burn that extra visceral fat, should you go for 20 minutes jogging or 1 minute of 10 sprint with 1 minute break after each sprint? I am struck indoors & want to improve my blood sugar levels. Would be it better to climb stairs & down continuously without resting or sets of burpees with short breaks in between will work? Let us discuss what options we have & how it may be personalised for each one of you based on your genetic composition.

We have heard the word HIIT on a lot of occasions from our workout buddy, friends & our fitness trainers. However, these fitness experts touting HIIT can be misleading. HIIT is part of a bigger fitness approach technically known as Metabolic Training.

Metabolic training (MT) is a mix of anaerobic strength training & Aerobic cardio exercise. MT fires up your metabolism leading to a longer period of fat burning. Your body’s furnace is lit & up for fat burn upto 48 hours. For fat burn, workout needs to be both intense & dense – you have to go all in & complete a high volume of work in a short period of time. Doing one hour of weight training or 30 minutes of cardio is not going to work

Metabolic Training can be broken down into Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) & Cardio Interval Training. The latter is also referred to as HIIT.

Metabolic Training is a strength component of exercise which allows you to engage in strength focussed workout including compound exercises with small rest between sets. You workout out for 45 to 60 seconds with rest of 15 to 30 seconds in between. A perfect example of MRT could be:

Most of us would view MRT (these exercises) as HIIT which is technically incorrect.

Cardio interval training (CRT) or HIIT consists of short all out bursts of cardio exercise (rope jump, sprint, climbing stairs etc). You go all out in a short burst of 45 seconds cardio & then take 1 minute break before repeating it. For proper HIIT or CRT workout, you could do 30 seconds of sprint & incline on the treadmill followed by 1 minute of work & repeating it 4 to 5 times.

Both MRT & CRT offer intense workout in a short time frame. Both will light your body’s furnace, shed fat & burn calories even after workout when you have crashed on your couch. So next time you indulge in an HIIT, you would know what you are actually doing – MRT or HIIT.

Let us discuss what MICT is!

MICT involves sustained effort with no intervening rest periods. A perfect example would be doing cycling for 20 minutes non-stop. In contrast to MRT, MICT is less intense. It corresponds to 55% to 75% of maximum heart rate or 55% to 65% of maximum oxygen consumption

So what type of workout aligns with your genetic code?

Both MRT & MICT are said to bring reduction in absolute total fat mass & body fat percentage & there was no significant difference between both groups. However, it is important to note that MRT brings a similar impact as does MICT but in less time frame & the fat loss continues for a longer period of time post workout. This is also referred to as excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC occurs during recovery after exercise when oxygen consumption is elevated above resting levels as the body restores various metabolic processes to normal. Such processes include rebuilding muscle glycogen stores & oxidation of fat for fuel.

Depending upon your muscle twitch fibre type composition you may indulge in more MRT or MICT.

If you prefer to have endurance workout, you may monitor & improve your VO2 max. We have discussed VO2 max in our earlier blog .Briefly, it is the maximum rate of oxygen consumption & is a measure of your body’s ability to take in oxygen in lungs & distribute it to muscle using the heart & cardiovascular system. If your target is to improve your VO2 max MRT is much better equipped to supply oxygen to your muscles in an effective way as compared to MICT.

For metabolic health, which measures how effectively your body metabolises fat & sugar & helps you have healthy glucose level, good insulin & triglycerides, both MRT & MICT are equally effective.

MRT is said to build more muscle fibres & deplete muscle glycogen stores to a larger extent & improve insulin sensitivity as compared to steady state.

Discover your personal trait to figure out if you’re genetically predisposed to indulging in more MRT or steady state cardio. We use genetic traits & insights to provide you with a comprehensive & personalised fitness solution through our live online fitness coaching that will help you embrace a lifestyle change. Whether you are a corporate employee or homemaker struggling to keep up with your fitness during this lockdown, our personalised solution, delivered by our international certified fitness coaches, will help you achieve your fitness goals. Sign up here

Author's Bio: 

Passion for Fitness is a global fitness company that offers genomics based online fitness coaching solution for folks who do not have time to take care of their health. They offer a curated nutrition & workout plan based on genetic code of their customers & help them adopt a healthy lifestyle to aid with their fitness goals. They are serving customers from across the globe.