Wednesday, March 12, 2014

HIIT Me With Your Best Shot

Raise your hand if you have ever heard the term ‘HIIT Training’. I am guessing that some of you have and some of you have not heard of this type of training. HIIT stands for High-intensity interval training and is a heightened interval workout that incorporates short bursts of anaerobic (with weights) or aerobic (with cardio) work with less intense recovery periods. In other words, HIIT training is a technique that utilizes quick, intense bursts of exercise that you give 100% effort followed by short (sometimes active) recovery periods. This type of workout will keep your heart rate up for the duration of the workout and burn more fat in less time. HIIT training increases your body’s need for oxygen during the max effort periods in turn creating an oxygen deficit, so your body asks for more oxygen during recovery periods (much more scientific than this but I will keep it simple for today).

HIIT training is quick and convenient. Only got 20 minutes to squeeze in your cardio? No problem! Most HIIT workouts range from 15 to 30 minutes. The great thing about this type of training, is that it can be done anywhere like the gym, the trail, in your hotel room or your living room. But what if you don’t have any equipment? That is perfectly fine! Most HIIT workouts commonly use only your body weight. Now what does a HIIT workout look like? Well it is up to you and your goals! Here is an example of a cardio HIIT training regimen and a strength-based HIIT regimen.

HIIT Treadmill Workout:
Always warm-up for 3-5 minutes before beginning. Find a speed that fits your comfort level for your max effort sprints. This will vary on your fitness level but you want it to be challenging. Most treadmills allow you to punch in your speed so it makes it easier on you to go from sprinting to walking. 

Sprint for 30 seconds followed by 1 min recovery. Your recovery can be a walk or standing straddling the treadmill, whichever suits you best. Repeat this 10 times, which provides a 15 min workout. Proceed to cool down for 5-minutes afterwards. 

I really enjoy hill intervals so I use the same concept outlined above but at an incline. I will sprint uphill for 1 minute on and recover by walking at the same incline for 1 minute. I also vary the degree of incline to mix up my workout. For example, I may start at an incline of 6 and every sprint interval I will go up 2 degrees so it looks like this: Sprint 1 min @ incline 6, recover 1 min (move incline up), Sprint 1 min @ incline 8, recover 1 min, Sprint 1 min @ incline 10, recover 1 min, ect. 

HIIT Weighted Workout:
This can be done anywhere, anytime and with no equipment! Make sure you warm-up for 5 mins whether that is jogging in place, jump roping, walking around your house or backyard. The repetitions may change depending on your fitness level. Remember you want it to be challenging and the goal is to keep your heart rate up

Perform this circuit 3x through: 

25 Squats
25 Push-ups
25 Sit-ups
25 Burpees
25 Squat Jumps

Recover 1-2 minutes.

Get out there and HIIT it! :) 


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