When it comes to working out, there are two ends of the spectrum: marathon running on one end and bodybuilding on the other. However, there is so many more forms of exercise in between. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been getting a lot of support in the past decade. Although it’s a sprint-like form of exercise, actually sprinting is usually not involved. Instead, it includes plyometric exercises, which are known as “jumping”exercises that require bursts of energy. Think squat, lunges, pull ups, and push ups. That doesn’t sound so different than regular exercise right? The difference is in the pace of the workout.
General Beginner Level HIIT:
Total time–20 minutes
30 seconds of high intensity exercise
immediately followed by 60 seconds of medium intensity exercise or complete rest
(Repeat 10-12 times until you reach 20 mins. Don’t give up!)
Examples of High-Intensity Exercise: think big BURSTS of energy when you perform each exercise
**Remember, when doing lunges or squats, push up for your HEEL and make sure your knees do NOT go forward pass your toes.
Examples of Medium-Intensity Exercise: any normal weight-lifting exercise you can do at a comfortable pace/weight
HIIT can be performed while running or cycling as well. During the high intensity interval, sprint or cycle as fast and hard as you can. Immediately after, during the medium intensity, decrease you pace at a comfortable jog/walk/cycle. Repeat!
Possible benefit of HIIT is increased resting metabolic rate for the following 24 hours due to increased oxygen recovery. Because of this, many believe that HIIT is an effective way of burning fat. It seems counteractive as fat burns at low energy exercise like with light cardio. But just like weight training builds muscles and increases your metabolic rate when you are at rest, HIIT is purported to do the same for the following 24 hours post-workout.
Maybe this is another form of exercise that you can throw into your weekly mix to challenge yourself. If you’re a beginner, remember to be safe and perform within your limits even if you are pushing yourself. You will improve as you continue on, and you can elevate the difficult by adjusting your workout time, the types of exercises, the number of reps, or the number of sets.
Go get ’em!
NASM Certified Personal Trainer