Take it up a notch with HIIT

in which i once again prove how totally hot i am

HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training. It's been around for awhile but lately I've been hearing about it everywhere.

So, what is it, you ask?

Well, HIIT is all about speed while exercising. You guessed it . . . speed while exercising increases your metabolic rate and burns more calories which, in turn, equates to a loss in weight - without a loss in muscle. Due to the speed in which you're working out, most HIIT workouts last less than 20 minutes. I know some of you are jumping for joy! But, it's not THAT easy.

How does this work?

A typical HIIT workout consists of a warm up, followed by six to ten repetitions of a high intensity exercise with active rest periods in between. As in all other workouts, a cool down and stretch is necessary. The word - high intensity - means just that. You are giving your all.  HIIT is used frequently to train professional runners and cyclists.


Is HIIT only for runners and cyclist?

No. You can use the HIIT method with other exercises. It is important to note that if you are going to try HIIT, you should be comfortable exercising for a good 30 minutes at 70 - 85% of your estimated heart rate. I'd recommend investing in a heart rate monitor.

Examples HIIT appropriate exercises:

  • Elliptical
  • Rowing machine
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Jump rope
  • Swimming
  • Burpees
  • Push ups
  • Plank runs
  • Squats
  • Plyometric types of exercises

I've tried this a few times, first at one of my Personal Training continued education courses and then in bootcamp classes. Try this: All you need is a stop watch and enough room for pushups or squats. Once you have decided which exercise you're doing, stick with it. Do 20 seconds maximum intensity pushups or squats, rest for 10 seconds, repeat. Continue doing this for 4 minutes. How do you feel?

You should feel your heart pumping and your arms or legs should feel like jello. This type of cardio will have you shedding weight, building strength, cardio capacity and stamina. Although uncomfortable at first, your body will thank you in the long run.