Something about a 20 minute workout having the same impact as a typical long winded session at the gym really appeals to me. Power Circuits that targets all the major muscle groups, makes me sweat, torches tons of calories, boosts my overall metabolic rate and still leaves me time for a shower? Where do I sign up? I’m talking of course about HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training.
How does this miraculous sounding workout get powerful results? The answer is in the science behind it all. The goal of HIIT is to hold an anaerobic state over an accumulated amount of time. It’s designed with rest intervals to allow you to do longer and harder bursts during your workout. For example, if you were to sprint for 100 meters, you would go full out for about 15 seconds (depending how fast you were). Compare this to a HIIT workout. 5 minutes is generally spent with warm up and cool down (essential for preventing injuries & not over-working your heart!), and 15 is spent with the workout. Of the 15; 4-8 minutes will be spent in those bursts or sprints – depending on your fitness level.
Here are some basic tips to get you started with your HIIT:
Its intense. You will zap more calories during the workout, and it will increase your metabolic rate. Be sure to eat about ½ an hour before your workout – something light and energizing!
Take a break. HIIT should only be done every other day at the most. Doing HIIT every day will overtax your body, and could zap energy. It works best for burning calories and increasing strength when your body has a day between workouts to rebuild.
Try something new. There is a variety of workouts you can do with HIIT. The point is to incorporate intervals. The most effective is jogging with sprints, but you can try intervals on the bike, jump roping, swimming, and more.
Mix it up. The point of High Intensity Interval Training is to avoid the plateau and keep your body on its toes. Sticking to one HIIT routine will bore your body and start to decrease in effectiveness. Mix up the pace or interval of your bursts, or switch the type of workout you do your intervals with.
Raise your heart rate. To be effectively doing HIIT, you want your heart rate at or above 80% of its maximum rate during your bursts. The regular periods should be a jogging pace.
High Intensity Interval Training is sure to be a challenge to anyone, and will definitely give you the results you want in no time at all – while leaving you plenty of room for all the other things in your life!