If you are a mom, you have experienced HIIT training without even realizing it. How many times a day does your toddler love to play that come and get me game that turns into an all out chase? Do you run and leap to stop your toddler from falling down the stairs, dumping the bag of flour all over the floor etc.? Notice how your heart races after that? HIIT training is like that only without the added frustration and the element of danger.
I like efficient workouts, so I am a huge believer in HIIT (high intensity interval training). Traditionally used by athletes, it is becoming more common in the general fitness world b/c of its many benefits. It is basically 10-20 min of intervals (usually 2:1 ; moderate:very intense). Why do we want to push ourselves to the max though?
Here are the benefits of HIIT. By breaking your workout into short bursts of intensity, you not only challenge your heart in a way it is probably not used to, but your metabolism will be revved for up to 24hrs after! Your body will burn more fat than it will in a longer cardio session, metabolize glucose better and lower your insulin resistance. It also stimulates HGH (human growth hormone) which increases calorie burn and some say even slows aging – maybe our retinol in exercise form!
Still think you can’t do it? Yes you can! Here is what a typical 20 min. HIIT workout on the treadmill might look like:
0-3 min. warm-up at a moderate to fast walking pace\
3-18 min. alternate fast walking(or even slow jog) for 1 min. followed by 30 sec. sprint as fast as you can .
18-20 min. walking moderately to allow your heart rate to go down.
If you are new to HIIT, I recommend starting with a 10 min. session and working up to 20 min. HIIT should only be done about 2 times per week since it does tax the body to its max. If you use HIIT training too much you may cause injury to your muscles and joints.
If you are not a runner, don’t worry. This method of training can be done on a stair master, elliptical, bike, rowing machine – pretty much any cardio machine at the gym. When I am at home, I use plyometrics as my HIIT training. I jog in place for 1 min. and then do short 30 sec. bursts of jumping lunges or squats or jumping rope as fast as I can.
So go try HIIT and train like the athlete you are!