I know I have referred to HIIT a number of times in my blog posts. And I share free HIIT cardio workouts on my social media pages weekly (Facebook: Tawny Clark & Instagram: @Tawnyclark). So I want to take the time to explain exactly what it is, and why you should be doing it!
HIIT refers to High Intensity Interval Training. GASP! I know if sounds so daunting, doesn’t it? Well if you want to get greater energy expenditure (Read: burn more calories) in a shorter amount of time, then you will want to give it a try. HIIT involves alternating between very intense bouts of exercise with low intensity exercise. But those INTENSE bouts are all relative to YOUR fitness level. Intense for you personally, may be power walking, whereas for someone else it may be sprinting. The great thing about it is, you will both get the benefits & see changes in your physique! And you can choose any mode of exercise you prefer to do your High Intensity Interval Training: swimming, cycling, walking, running, sprinting, stair climbing, the Elliptical, etc.
So what are the benefits of HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training has been shown to improve both aerobic and anaerobic capacity, cardiovascular health, improve cholesterol, lower blood pressure, improve insulin sensitivity, and lower body fat & weight, all while maintaining your hard earned muscle. Yes, Please! And while the benefits are similar to that of long duration endurance activity, you get all of this in a shorter time period! But best of all, even after you finish your workout, you will still be burning MORE calories! Yep! You heard me correctly. That time is referred to as EPOC, or excessive post-workout oxygen consumption. And it typically last about 2 hours, when your body is restoring itself to pre-workout levels, thus utilizing more energy. Since HIIT is vigorous in nature, the EPOC is greater and adds about 6-15% more calories to the overall workout expenditure, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
Because HIIT workouts are more exhaustive and place a greater demand on the body, they should be limited to 2-3 times per week. The workout typically last anywhere from 10-20 minutes of WORK. That does NOT include a proper warm-up and cool-down. Here is an example of a High Intensity Interval Training treadmill workout:
Set the Incline to 10%
5:00 Speed 3.5 Warm-up
:30 Speed 7.0 (WORK)
1:30 Speed 3.2 (Recover)
REPEAT 15x = 20:00
5:00 Speed 3.0 Cool-down NO Incline
**If it’s not busy in the gym, I will actually use 2 treadmills so I don’t have to keep increasing and decreasing the speed. Set both treadmill inclines to 10%, but 1 with a speed of 7.0 & the other to 3.2. It’s a beautiful thing! You’ll see!
Now you can understand why I’m so passionate about HIIT. Check out my social pages for your weekly dose! Until next time…
Love & Light,