Yoga HIIT Fit
Yoga HIIT Fit (YHF) is a novel fitness program that combines high intensity interval training (HITT), bodyweight exercises, and yoga. These elements are blended systematically based on modern exercise science principles of progressive adaption. The program has multiple levels that increase in intensity and physical challenge. Each level is a 12 week progression. Minimal equipment is needed, besides the most important piece of equipment you have – YOU!
The core focus of the program is to develop well-rounded, total body fitness. YHF naturally improves many aspects of one’s fitness – strength, power, flexibility, endurance (muscular and cardiovascular), and balance. Additional benefits of the program are improved posture, body awareness, proprioception, mental calmness, well-being, and focus.
Why a Combination of Bodyweight Exercise, Yoga, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Bodyweight exercises consist of movements that naturally work the body unit as a whole (i.e. are less isolationist in nature) and as such develop fitness in a body-intuitive manner, when done properly. When it comes down to it, there is so much that can be done with the body alone to improve your fitness. What is required is taking the time to develop the strength and stabilization of smaller muscle groups and connective tissues to move the body in a manner that reinforces sound posture and musculoskeletal alignment.
Yoga is a time-tested collection of poses meant to discipline and shape the body, so as to allow access to higher mental states. This is why the system of yoga we know was originally developed. A consistent physical yoga practice has many benefits, including improved mental calmness, pranayam (breath control work), enhanced balance and body awareness, increased flexibility, and boosted muscular strength and endurance. Yoga is not just for the naturally flexible and strong, the practice is accessible to all – just with the appropriate modifications and variations applied. There are countless articles, studies, and personal accounts of the physical and mental benefits of yoga.
High Intensity Interval Training has become a more popular and well-recognized workout style within the past few decades, and for good reason. A general consistency among HIIT workouts is varied exercise intensity (higher to lower), and for varying time intervals. Done appropriately and systematically, this type of training activates innate metabolic machinery and adaptive physiologic mechanisms to give the muscle building, high calorie burning, and fat trimming benefits for which it is known. It is one of the most time-efficient ways in which to exercise. Below are some well-known and research-proven benefits of HIIT:
- One of the most efficient ways to improve Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) – a standard measure of metabolism and associated with metabolic adaptation to exercise.
- Improved mitochondrial function and number.
- Translational fitness benefits (i.e. gains in endurance, strength and power readily translate to other daily activities).
YHF has combined these three elements to create an adaptable workout program that will continue to challenge you, even as your fitness level increases. In the YHF program, exercises have been combined and organized into an interval training framework. As an added bonus in this program, there is particular focus devoted to enhancing flexibility, developing a mindfulness practice, and learning about other aspects of fitness and health, including nutrition and diet.
All this is accomplished through a program progression that spans 4 levels of increasing difficulty and challenge. Each level consists of a 3-week cycle that is repeated 4 times, for a total of 12 weeks. This is just a recommended minimum, as you may find that you need to spend longer than 12 weeks at a particular level so as to gain further benefits from it. Remember, the focus isn’t just your end goal – it’s the path you take to get to your goal that actually forges the changes and benefits you seek. Achieving your goal, then, becomes an eventuality of sound practices and habits. The sound practices and habits are the good stuff – they form the lasting change and impact.
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