Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No time for Cardio? Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If you don't have time to spend 1 hour on the treadmill or the Elliptical, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) may be the workout for you. I've been meaning to share this for a while because I get a lot of emails from readers who want to workout but have very little time. On days when I only have 20-25 min. to workout I do HIIT. Basically you alternate between working out a medium pace and working out really really hard (100% Effort). I typically use it on the treadmill but you can also use it on the Elliptical. I first learned about HIIT from my Dad, he uses it for running. So instead of running 4 or 5 miles he alternates between sprinting and jogging for about 20 minutes. This allows for the same results (or better) as jogging for 45 minutes.

HIIT is worth doing your own research on so that you insure that you do it correctly. Here is a good article I found at Sparkpeople.com

Also, here is a sample of a HIIT workout:

A Sample Progressive HIIT Program
To maximize fat loss, maintain an intensity level of 60-70% of your maximum heart rate (RPE of 5-6 on the 10-point scale) during warm up, cool down and recovery intervals.

Warm up
Work Interval (Max Intensity) Recovery Interval
(60-70% MHR)

Workout Time
1 5 min.
1 min. 4 min. 2 times 5 min.
20 min.
2 5 min.
1 min. 4 min.
3 times 5 min.
25 min.
3 5 min.
1 min. 4 min.
4 times
5 min.
30 min.
4 5 min.
1.5 min. 4 min.
2 times 5 min.
21 min.
5 5 min.
1.5 min. 4 min.
3 times
5 min.
26.5 min.
6 5 min.
1.5 min. 4 min. 4 times
5 min.
32 min.
7 5 min.
2 min. 5 min. 3 times
5 min.
31 min.
8 5 min.
2 min. 5 min. 4 times
5 min.
38 min.

A few important things to know about HIIT, you have to include a recovery day after each session. If you are truly working out at 100% effort then you are really challenging your body and you will need recovery. Also, you should only use it if you are able to exercise for at least 20-30 minutes at 70-85% of your estimated maximum heart rate, without exhausting yourself or having problems. If you want to try this workout please read this article here carefully to make sure you do the exercise correctly.


Have you tried HIIT?
Does it work for you?


Laura said...

Thanks for the post. I'm going to try and incorporate what you've written about. Sounds worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

I love HIIT! I have been running at a steady pace of 5.5 for abt 30 mins for abt 2 months now and i needed something to change up the routine. I liked how i could run for a fraction of the time, but get increased results! After doing my HIIT workout, i feel more like i have actually done someting, rather than just sitting on auto pilot 5.5.