We see you over there, trying to get into your fitness bag, your money bag, nourishing healthy relationships and making time to rest and reset so you have a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle-you are killing it girl!
We also see that when you have to compromise some of your time, it’s your gym time that is the first to go, and understandably so!
A lot of workouts take at least an hour and usually longer to perform all of the exercises, but what about something short and sweet? Even better: something short and sweet, and easy to do when you’re on-the-go!
If you find yourself skipping the gym or workouts frequently because you don’t have the time, High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) could be exactly what your fitness routine is missing!
H.I.I.T. may be something you want to add to your fitness habits if you answer yes to one or more of these questions:
- Do you have very little time to exercise?
- Do you easily get bored with your workouts?
- Is a high priority goal of yours to lose weight?
- Are you looking to improve your cardiac conditioning?
- Are you looking to enhance your metabolic conditioning?
What is H.I.I.T. exactly…how do I do it?
H.I.I.T. is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training and is an exercise modality in which the effort and the rest times are measured and divided into rounds of work for the purpose of maximizing metabolic conditioning.
For example, one way of performing a H.I.I.T. workout is:
- Do 10-60 seconds of Barbell Squats, exerting maximum effort
- Do 10-60 seconds of Active Rest (walking, etc.)
- Repeat for 3-10 rounds
These intense workouts usually last anywhere from 10-30 minutes and can literally be any collection of exercises you want, from sprinting to weightlifting. (If you are nervous about what strength training movements might do to the shape of your body, don’t worry! Check out our Women and Weightlifting blog to put your mind at ease!)
The flexibility is a big part of what can make H.I.I.T. workouts so appealing: they are easy to customize based on the time and gym equipment you have! Being short and sweet isn’t the only perk of a H.I.I.T. workout, however. Many studies have shown that there is a series of recognizable health benefits that are incurred through regular High Intensity Interval Training.
Health Benefits of H.I.I.T. workouts include:
- Metabolic Conditioning: The interval part of H.I.I.T. causes spikes and drops in the heart rate throughout the workout. This causes the body to burn a lot of calories, both during the workout and up to 72 hours after the workout is over. This makes it an ideal workout for people working on fat loss or weight loss goals.
- Oxygen Flooding: Because of the maximal amount of effort exerted causes both the heart rate to spike and the rate of breathing to increase, the blood and body becomes flooded with oxygen. This helps the body in its natural healing and detoxification processes.
- Cardiovascular Conditioning: The spiking and dropping of the heart rate during a H.I.I.T. workout brings a myriad of cardiovascular benefits from lowering the resting heart rate and blood pressure, to teaching the heart how to control it’s beat better and recover faster from a spike in heart rate.
- Management of Blood Sugar Levels: I.I.T. workouts are often a combination of strength training movements at a cardio pace which helps to keep blood sugar levels regulated, letting your insulin sensitivity improve.
- Improved Bone Density: Because H.I.I.T. workouts often include jumping, slamming and powerful movements, they tend to contribute to increased bone density and reduced risk of Osteoporosis. Check out Exercise for Bone and Joint Health for more information.
Let’s get into how you can do that!
How to begin incorporating H.I.I.T. into your fitness routine:
Beginning to add High Intensity Interval Training into your fitness routine is simple because you can do it anywhere with anything you have!
First, decide realistically how much time you can afford each week for your training, and during each workout (maybe 30 minutes, 3 times a week to start).
Then just create a workout following the basic guidelines of picking an activity or exercise, deciding how much time (10-60 seconds) you will do it for, if you will do multiple exercises in a row (2-5 different exercises back to back), and how long you will take a break for (30-90 seconds).
*A tip would be to start at a lower duration workout and play around with your working and recovery times until you find the right ratio for you.
- Use 85-100% effort for 30 seconds on an exercise like jump rope, biking, heavy lifting, or running.
- Then use about 50% effort on a low-intensity movement like walking, dynamic stretching or plank for 1-2 minutes for recovery.
- Repeat this cycle for enough rounds to fill up 10-30 minutes or switch between 2-4 of your favorite exercises. Just change the exercise after each recovery period and repeat that sequence for the 10-30 minute time frame that you choose.
Note: Compound weightlifting exercises like squats, rows and deadlifts are great in H.I.I.T. workouts because they hit multiple muscle groups. Check out our blog on Deadlifts for the Everyday Deadlifter for examples of different Deadlift styles and techniques!
The takeaway from this information:
H.I.I.T. is a highly effective style of physical training that offers several health-related benefits, as well as calorie burn and metabolic conditioning than most other workout modalities.
This means you could reach your physique goals in less time, while significantly improving your health and have more fun doing it.
High Intensity Interval Training is simple to add to your fitness routine and you just might end up falling in love with the easy-to-follow method and fast results!
This article was written by Krystin Rennie CPT, Strength and Conditioning Specialist of Adapted Fitness. Learn more or schedule a consultation at AdaptedToYou.com