High Intensity Interval Training is an exercise strategy that alternates short periods of intense aerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. After finishing the Boston Marathon a few weeks ago, I knew I needed to take a break from logging miles and return to my total-body strength development program. There are major benefits that come from pushing your limits and throttling your heart rate in a fast-paced HIIT workout (lasting 15-30 minutes). Let me explain why the majority of my workouts are HIIT.
HIIT is MORE EFFICIENT
Research shows you can achieve more progress in 15 minutes of interval training than jogging on a treadmill for 1 hour.
Two weeks of HIIT improves aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of traditional endurance training. (ACSM, 2011)
HIIT is MORE EFFECTIVE
Not only do you burn more calories during your HIIT routine, but the intense exertion enables your body to burn fat in the 24 hours after the workout. HIIT creates a high EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) or Oxygen Debt, which helps your fat stores to be broken down and metabolized. Studies have shown that HIIT results in greater gains in aerobic and anaerobic capacity than traditional aerobic exercise alone.
So now that we know HIIT is efficient and effective, how do we perform a HIIT workout?
PERFORM A CARDIO HIIT WORKOUT
Choose any form of Cardio:
-Running (treadmill, track, neighborhood, etc.)
-Biking (stationary, road bike, mountain bike)
-Boxing (punching bag)
WARM UP: 5-10 Minutes (heart rate slowly increasing)
MAX EFFORT: 1 Minute (Skyrocket Heart Rate and RPE) at (90% HR MAX)
RECOVERY ZONE: 1 Minute Recovery (Advanced) or 2 Minute Recovery (Beginner) at (60-70% HR MAX)
REPEAT: 6 times (Advanced) or 4 times (Beginner)
COOL DOWN: 5 Minutes (Walk/Stretch)
HIIT can be either cardio (as outlined above) or anaerobic (strength training). For a free 30 minute HIIT CORE workout click here. The majority of workouts contained in "YOUR BEST SELF" fitness, nutrition, lifestyle guide are fast-paced HIIT workouts designed to improve both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
Stay strong, fit, and let me know how your HIIT workout goes!