Do you want to workout less and burn more fat? Although it sounds too good to be true, it’s not–well, at least when it comes to a hot new fitness training method called HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training).
Unlike typical aerobic exercise where you jog at a continuous speed or use the elliptical at a steady pace, HIIT involves high-intensity sprints immediately followed by low-intensity exercise or rest. The length of the sprint and the rest may vary greatly. Sprint intervals can last anywhere from as little as 10 seconds and recovery or rest may last up to four minutes. Running and biking are some of the most popular exercises for HIIT, but you can also theoretically do it on a treadmill, stairclimber, rowing machine or by swimming.
Although HIIT is the “hot” fitness trend right now, it’s actually been around for years. We realized we were using the HITT method when we were growing up. When we were kids, we’d train on land for speed ice skating with our dad, and we used HIIT to prepare for ice sprints!
It turns out that when compared to regular aerobic exercise, HIIT increases more fat loss in the belly. It also increases the loss of subcutaneous fat (that’s the fat just under the skin, and this certainly affects your appearance). Results of studies across the board have shown the same thing. Whether you’ve been trying HIIT training for two weeks or 24 weeks, this type of training burns more fat. One study even showed that HIIT exercise for 20 minutes burned more fat than exercise at a continuous pace for 40 minutes.
In a hurry? No time to get your full workout in? You can still get a great, shorter workout in by using the HIIT method!
If you would like to try HIIT, keep these things in mind:
• If you don’t already workout, you may want to wait until you feel comfortable with a consistent routine as sprints are best for those who workout regularly.
• If you’re a beginner, you can try interval speed training on the bike or elliptical or treadmill to give your body a chance to adjust.
• You can also try interval training by interchanging running with walking without completely stopping.
• HIIT workouts are not done more than three times a week and for no more than 30 minutes total.
Try this 20 minute HIIT workout:
It’s called the 60 of 10 workout. Simply do 10 seconds of sprints (running as fast or peddling as fast/hard as you can) and rest for 10 seconds. You can set a timer for 20 minutes alternating every 10 seconds. Or you can simply do this 10 second sprint, 10 second slow, 10 second sprint, 10 second slow continuously– until the time is up.
Or try this: (This is what we did with our dad growing up–it took 33 minutes)
All sprints are 30 seconds long. Start with two sprints with four minutes of slow jogging between each sprint. Then complete six sprints with two-minutes of slow jogging between each sprint. You can speed walk if you don’t want to jog during the rest/recovery. Then slow jog for five minutes at the recovery speed.
Afterwards, we’d stretch, ahh!–33 minutes
Note: Before beginning any workout routine, consult with your physician.