HIIT has been a hot trend in the fitness industry for several years, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. If you are unfamiliar with high, intensity, interval, training please check out this post on why HIIT is so fun and effective! The main takeaway point from HIIT research is that we are working out smarter, not longer. Sure, you can climb up on the elliptical and grab a magazine to flip through for an hour. You can hop on the treadmill and punch the start button walking or running until you burn a satisfactory number of calories. This afternoon, weather permitting, I myself am headed out for a steady 5K. However, if you really want to burn the most calories, maximize time, and recruit multiple muscle groups simultaneously, HIIT 2-3 times/week is where it’s at. It is no gimmick to go back to basics and develop a foundation, keeping the body guessing by doing different exercises all at the same time, and keep that time frame short but powerful!
You may recall me talking about something called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). Your body must replenish the energy stores used during exercise, return the heart and respiratory rate back to resting levels, regulate hormones and settle back to its pre-exercise temperature. Because EPOC burns calories, it is an attractive state for anyone trying to lose weight. Increasing the time spent in EPOC can have a substantial impact on weight loss. –livestrong.com Very simply stated, you are exercising after you stop exercising! (How cool is that?!) After some bouts of interval training at a high intensity, your body will continue to burn calories by working to return to its normal steady state. I have been an advocate for my clients to use HIIT for a long time now. However, last week, I decided to do a little test on myself. On Tuesday, I completed a heart pounding HIIT workout in my living room. (Another great thing about HIIT is that you don’t need much space to do it!) Warm-up and cool down included, I was working for 30 minutes. In 30 minutes I hit my heart rate goal several times.
I continued to wear my monitor for almost an hour after I completed the workout. And as researched, I was still burning! I nearly doubled my calorie burn from the time I started and completed my quickie workout! This shows me just sitting on the couch post workout!
This may be your burn after a long run, spinning for an hour, or the like. But just think, what if you continue to partake in those activities and then replace 2 of those days with intervals? Madness!!
Recently I received a check-in email from a fitness friend. She shared with me her Saturday at home workout. It was so good, so thought out, and so efficient, I had to share. She called this her: Get it Done without Injuries Saturday Workout! (Love the goal setting and vision in the title!)
4 sets of each round for 20 seconds with a 10 second recovery:Round 1Star jumps with light weightsSingle-leg dead lift curlJump squat (straight up)Butterfly sit-upsRound 2Speedy prisoner squatsBurpeesMountain climbersHigh kneesRound 3Russian twistsGlute kickbacksPlank with side twistCalf raises with overhead press
My goal is not to overwhelm you, but as your trainer, I feel the need to be authentic and always strive to give you the best I can. You may already be a huge fan of HIIT, as am I. Many of us are wired up in a way that we get amped by anything having to do with harder, better, faster, stronger! Others of us, maybe not so much! Nonetheless, I have a note of caution for everyone: If you find yourself partaking in daily workouts, all at high intensities, you may be at a risk of over-training. I state this because, shame on me, I feel into it over the last year. Teaching too many classes and going hard in all of them, while not giving my body sufficient time to recover led me to a place of increased weight gain, restless sleep, and more. I never would have thought that diet and exercise would have an adverse effect on me. But taken to the extreme anything good can become bad. I resonate with the word balance, and often strive for it. Some time last year, I lost sight of my favorite word, and wouldn’t throw myself a bone. Just like this didn’t happen over night, it is not getting better overnight. However, I am getting there, and I hope and pray that my experience with this makes me a better trainer, coach, and leader. Check out this interesting article to learn more.
Be wise, listen to your body (and when you listen in, don’t ignore it! Do what it says!) Train hard, train smart, stretch, sleep, and take days off. Eat whole colorful healthy food in abundance. Allow yourself to give into the chocolate, the Margarita, or the slice of pizza once in a while! This balanced living will actually supply you with the pathway needed for true strength.