Work out Harder, Not Longer

This week’s tip is one I’m currently experimenting with and have included in my workout schedule.  I have included three high intensity interval training sessions in my current workout rotation.  One of the best parts has been that the workouts are considerably shorter – no more than 30 minutes.

For me, the HIIT sessions are running based, speed work sessions that I’ve been performing on the track.  I am using a free APP to prompt me as I run.  It tells me to run/walk, sprint at 80% and then either easy run, or walk to recover.  I love it and feel like I’m improving my stamina.  There are many known benefits of incorporating this type of workout in your weekly routines.

Increased Calorie Burn – research shows that performing high intensity interval training burns more calories in less time.  My 30 minute session burns almost 500 calories. Studies have shown that a HIIT session can burn more calories than jogging on a treadmill for 60 minutes.

Improved Weight Loss – Studies report that 8 – 12 weeks of HIIT could result in reductions in body fat.

Challenging – Plateau BusterThis is not an easy workout and I definitely can’t hold a conversation through most of mine.  But, because it’s short bursts, I’m working harder the entire workout and time flies by.  I feel like these sessions have helped me push through my most recent plateau AND increased my motivation.  You know I love win win situations.

Here’s how to incorporate the principles of HIIT into your current workout routine:

Warm up for at least 5 minutes

Exercise as hard and fast as you can for 30 seconds.  This should be hard, think gasping for breath and feeling like you can’t possibly continue.

Recover for at least 1 minute, still moving at a slower pace.

Repeat the cycle at least 4 more times, increasing to 6-7 as you improve fitness.

Cool down for at least 5 minutes.

Allow recovery time between sessions, so limit HIIT to 2-3 times per week.  This is not an every day event.

For my running routine, the warm-up is walking or a slow jog.  This is followed by a cycle of comfortable run, full on sprint, comfortable run/easy jog.  Cool down is a nice slow jog or walk, depending on the day.   The app I used to get started with this was called Running for Weight Loss.  I use the free version, but they offer a premium version of the app as well.

For biking or elliptical workouts, I just go fast and slower.  On the elliptical an easy way to do is to alternate – one song easy effort, one song harder effort.

My favorite HIIT weight routine is Tabata.  I haven’t done this in a while, but it was my favorite class at the gym.  So much fun and time flies by.

If you are currently including this type of workout in your routine, please comment below.  I’d love to hear what you are doing and how it’s going for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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