How Combining Yoga & HIIT Makes You Stronger, Stat

How Combining Yoga & HIIT Makes You Stronger, Stat Hero Image
Photo: Neal Kreuser

Todd McCullough is a former University of Florida football player and creator of TMAC FITNESS. He specializes in helping busy people get into shape and is known for his uniquely effective workouts combining high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with yoga. We are thrilled to share his course, 20 Minutes To Strong, Healthy And Fit: A 7-Day Personal Training Program, featuring workouts that can be done in 20 minutes or less with absolutely no equipment!

For me, working out is about one thing: EMPOWERMENT. I love the feeling of sweat pouring down my face, my heart beating through my chest, and blood running through my veins. Exercise improves every aspect of my life. It is how I have started all of my days and what I've known from the time I was a kid growing up in my dad’s gym, up until about seven years ago. That is when I discovered yoga. I loved how yoga made my body and mind feel. I studied it relentlessly, practicing six day a week for years. I then went and did my teacher training at YogaWorks. However, as my training business, TMAC FITNESS, grew busier and busier, going to an hour-and-twenty-minute yoga class was no longer an option. In addition to the time constraint, I also knew that to be in superior shape, you have to push your anaerobic threshold. So the question was posed: Could I develop a way for people to get ripped in a short period of time yet also experience the healing benefits of yoga?

After about nine months of trial and error, I developed a 20-Minute Workout that combined high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with yoga and without the need for equipment. You can do this workout at home, in a hotel room, or even in your favorite park. Here's why you should combine yoga and HIIT:

  • Consistency. You need to sweat six days a week to get great results. The main reason people don’t accomplish this is because they don't have enough time. That is where HIIT comes in. You can do a HIIT workout for even just seven minutes and still get the same results or better.
  • A complete workout. Most HIIT workouts address your Type II Muscle Fibers. These are your fast-twitch muscles. Exercises commonly used to train them include squats, cleans, and the bench press. Yoga addresses your Type I Muscle Fibers, aka your stabilizers. Think vasisthasana, half-moon and extended side angle. When you combine yoga and HIIT, you get muscle building and cardiovascular benefits in addition to strengthening your important stabilizing muscles that help protect you.
  • Connecting to your breath. The majority of workouts activate and leave you feeling your sympathetic nervous system. One of the many benefits of yoga is that it connects you back to your breath and leaves you in a relaxed state (via your parasympathetic nervous system). After all, who doesn't chill out during shavasana? Imagine being able to carry this empowering yet Zen feeling with you every day! How would that affect you co-workers, friends, and family?

How does this fit you current active lifestyle? Remember that the goal is to sweat six days a week. Don’t overthink it. Just sweat by doing your favorite form of exercise. I don’t care if it’s jogging, yoga, Pilates, or working out at the gym. Go for this type of training two to three days a week. Then, the days that you know you don't have the time to do what you love, implement my 20-Minute Workout. I share exactly how to do this in my new mbg course.

At the end of the day, you need to listen to your body and do what works for you. If you live a busy life like most of us do or simply want a quick yet effective workout, you should integrate this type of training into your weekly workout schedule.

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