Can you believe it’s almost summer again?? It’s getting a little warmer, the days are getting a little longer, and I am so crazy excited to spend some time outside!!
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. This style of training means that you are giving 100% effort for a short amount of time, taking short rests or recovery periods. HIIT training gets (and keeps!) your heart rate up, and can burn fat more effectively.
This interval training of working hard then taking brief recovery will help you push your body to the limit more effectively than other workouts. BUT, the trick is that you have to PUSH YOURSELF. 100%, all the time, even if it burns! You will love the results you get!
Why is HIIT Important?
There are a variety of positive side-effects that accompany HIIT workout routines:
- Time-effective: HIIT workouts don’t last very long because you are working at full capacity! So if you have a busy schedule (or even if you don’t!), HIIT workouts are a killer way to get an incredible workout in a limited amount of time. Studies have shown that doing just 15 minutes of HIIT training burns more calories than jogging for an hour.
- No Equipment Necessary: HIIT workouts can be done with any kind of movement, with or without equipment. Body weight (crunches, push-ups, squats, etc) or monostructural (running, biking, rowing, etc) movements can all be used in a HIIT workout routine, in addition to any other fitness movements incorporating machines or weights at a gym.
- Always Challenging: HIIT Workouts can always be revisited and changed to adjust to your body’s needs. You will always be able to find opportunities to push yourself further.
- Lose Fat, Not Muscle: Doing a lot of monostructural activity can lead to muscle loss, while using a HIIT training routine helps you build muscle while losing fat! And trust me, you want to gain muscle to get the figure you are hoping for (even if you are a girl- I promise you won’t ‘get bulky’).
- Requires More Recovery: HIIT workouts are allowing your body to push itself to full capacity, which means your body will require more energy to recover effectively. This means that your body will still be actively losing fat and burning calories even hours after you completed your workout. This is unlike running, eliptical work, or rowing, simply because the steady pace doesn’t require as much from your body physically.
- Boosts Metabolism: The high-pressured nature of HIIT training will push your body to consume more oxygen, which will boost your metabolism for a longer period of time during the day.
- Efficient Energy Use: The on-and-off method of training will allow your body to learn how to efficiently use energy and oxygen. Over time, this will give your body greater endurance capabilities. This efficient use of energy will also help remove toxins from your muscles. In addition, it will allow your heart to work more, which can help it grow stronger.
Examples of HIIT
Tabata: If you know anything about me, you know I love and always endorse Tabata workouts! They have a simple structure: :20 work, :10 rest for 8 rounds (which means they are just 4 minutes long!). You can do this for more than one round, and incorporate as many movements as you’d like! If you want to kick it up a notch, you can also do :45 work with :15 rest.
For Reps: While Tabata workouts are ruled by time (time of work, time of rest), you can also do a HIIT workout based on reps. For example, you can do 10 push-ups, then rest for :30 before completing another 10 push-ups. This method can be used with all sorts of movements and all sorts of rep schemes.
Sprint workouts: I did these all the time when I was on the track team- I hated them then, and I still hate them now! But it is such a straight-foward and effective workout! You can run 50m sprints with :20 rest, 100m sprints with :30 rest, 200m sprints with :45 rest and go up from there!