HIIT (high intensity interval training)workout is basically alternating big bursts of activity with lower intensity activity for a specific period of time. I have to admit that I really do not like doing them. I know it’s a great cardio work out, but I just do not like doing it. I am convinced part of the problem is that I just can’t veg out when I am doing them. When I run on a treadmill, I can put on my music and veg out. However, I know I will not burn fat or have any muscle growth. The reason why is that muscles will need less energy (calories) to perform that same exercise the more times you do it. Many of you from the fitness word refer to it as muscle adaptation. If you want to lose some junk from your trunk you need to keep your body on it’s toes.
Benefits of HIIT Work Out:
1. Efficient! Effective cardio in a short amount of time. Perfect for people on the go with a busy schedule. I never do more than 30 minutes of ANY cardio and most days 15-20 minutes fits in perfectly to my schedule post weight training.
2.Fat burner without losing muscle
3.Little to no equipment needed, all you need is your own body (you can add a small weights/dumbbells) and you can do these exercises ANYWHERE.
4.Increased metabolism and amps up your energy
5. VARIETY VARIETY VARIETY! No more getting bored running on a treadmill or sitting on a bike. You can incorporate a new routine every single session!
My Own Cardio:
For the last couple of years, I have been limiting my cardio. I usually do 2 to 3 sessions a week for 20 to 40 minutes. I switch from HIIT sprints on the hills near my house to HIIT on cardio equipment (stair climber, treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc). I do 30 seconds to 1 minute “on” at a VERY fast/hard pace and 1 minute off/recovery then repeat. My goal is to keep my heart rate up as much as I can for those short bursts.
Other HIIT exercises that require ZERO equipment; can easily be done at home:
When doing these exercises, I typically pick 4-5 moves and do 50 seconds to 1 minute of “work” with 15 seconds rest and repeat for 3-4 rounds. I might also add weights/dumbbells for some of these exercises.
- mountain climbers
- switch lunges
- jump squats
- tuck jumps
- pulse lunges
- kettlebell swings
- scissor kicks
- sumo squats
- burpees (these are great but a killer)
- push ups
- jump rope
- star jumps
- V Sit
- speed skaters
- jumping jacks
- walking lunges
- high knees
- in and out abs
- Russian twists
- box jumps
If I’m doing a quick 15-20 minute HIIT with these moves for the day, I try and pick exercises that go from super high intensity to medium intensity to lower intensity and so on. I also try to make sure that I’m not overworking a certain muscle group with back to back exercises that work the same area.
I Don’t be afraid to try something new. Don’t be afraid to change it up every now and then either!