Tired of spending hours on the cardio machines at the gym? Sick of taking long walks in an effort to get in shape? Want to lose weight more efficiently?
You’re in the right place.
High intensity interval training (commonly known as HIIT) is a type of metabolic training that allows you to burn more calories with less work out time. Basically, you get more bang for your buck.
HIIT, as opposed to steady state cardio, is exercise that fluctuates intensity throughout. Usually it is performed in a 1:4 high to low intensity ratio, but that can vary. Most of the time this style of training is performed in cardio workouts.
So if you were using an elliptical, for example, you could easily apply this idea. For 10 seconds make the exercise extremely intense, either by peddling as fast as possible, increasing the elliptical resistance, or both. Then, for the next 40 seconds, peddle at a relaxed pace on low resistance. Just working on catching your breath and not going into cardiac arrest. And then repeat, alternating back and forth.
To maximize results, it is generally best to make high intensity bouts between 10 and 40 seconds and the low intensity bouts between 30 and 120 seconds (the low intensity segments always being longer than the high intensity).
Why is this any better than the easier version of cardio where I walk and chit-chat with my buddies? HIIT training uses multiple energy systems in your body in order to fuel your exercise. Because of that, you generally will burn just as many calories as steady state cardio while exercising AND you burn calories after exercise is over. As in, for the next two days. That makes the total number of calories you burn with HIIT GREATER than with steady state cardio.
So you burn more calories and you don’t have to work out as long or often.
Here’s your challenge – try incorporating HIIT into your fitness routine this week! Comment below and let us know how you feel!
Disclaimer: Check with your doctor before trying any new type of exercise if you have a pre-existing health condition. And remember that weight loss is a combination of diet and exercise. If you don’t work on eating more healthily, exercise only helps so much.