Caution: This is a serious workout and you should always check with your physician before attempting or adding in new methods of training.
Ok, seriously, this training style kicks butt! Not only does High Intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT, burn more calories per session than a regular “aerobic” based workout – it revs up your “engine” for a full 24 hours after! Here’s how and why:
A HIIT workout is one where you do short durations of a given exercise – whether it’s running – spinning – jumping rope OR even exercises with kettle bells or weights followed by a brief rest – then repeat – usually this cycle is done between 6-12 times. The entire workout should never last more than 15-20 minutes.
Here’s an example of HIIT training using sprints on a treadmill:
After a proper warm up of 3-5 minutes you are ready for your first set of HIIT.
Set the treadmill to a speed that feels somewhere between a 6 and a 9 on the perceived exertion table (link) for 30 seconds. At 30 seconds bring speed down to a very light jog or a fast walk – but the goal here is to recover. Give yourself 30 seconds of recovery and then repeat five more times. Each following set should be more intense than the previous one – ultimately ending up at a 9 or 10 on the Perceived Exertion Chart. Followed of course by a proper cool down. Your body should feel on “fire” (as your internal thermostat has been spiked) after this type of training and your energy level will be spiked as well!
That’s the how of this workout – now here’s the why:
The reason why HIIT training is so effective is due to the increase in your resting metabolic rate for a full 24 hours after your workout is over. This is caused by the post-exercise oxygen consumption. Additional benefits are that HIIT training is said to improve your VO2 max (maximal oxygen consumption) which is a great plus for athletes or anyone looking to get the edge if they compete in a sport.
Now I don’t know about you, but for me, in this day and age – anything I can do to save time and still get great results while doing it – is a win/win. Gone are the days of the leisurely 2+ hours in the gym and the regular long distance runs of 1.5+ hours. We are all crunched for time and have more on our plates each day. So in keeping with my training motto – Get in, Get it Done, Get Out!