Either give it your all or nothing. That’s what you should be thinking before your weight loss program. The good news? Results strike fast, letting you not only slim it down and maintain your figure, but also attain a huge sense of satisfaction. The bad news? You gotta work your ass off. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, delivers the same physiological benefits in 15 minutes as three hours of slow cardio mundane treadmill running. That’s just 15 minutes, 3 times a week, and all you have lost is time to watch that one episode of your Korean drama.
Combining anaerobic and aerobic exercises, the HIIT workout style consists of a warm up period of exercise, followed by 3 to 10 reps of high intensity exercise (with medium intensity exercise in between each high intensity rep) and a cooling down period. The high intensity reps should be done at near maximum intensity (10-15 seconds) while the medium intensity reps that follows should be at 50% intensity (3 – 4 minutes). This allows for the lactic acid (that causes fatigue) that builds up during the short burst of anaerobic exercise to be neutralized when the body takes in more oxygen and recovers. With enough oxygen taken in during the recovery period, fatigue will remain at a low level.
It is important to be determined and realistic when embarking on your workout, understanding your limits yet disciplined to break them.
Warm up routine can include:
– Touch toes – 15 reps
– Lunges – 10 reps / leg
– Side lunges – 10 reps each direction
– Butt kicks – 25 yards
– Side bends – 20 reps
What you can HIIT with:
– Treadmill: Build up speed slowly for about 10 minutes. Run 30 seconds close to your maximum speed, then jog gently for 3-4 minutes. Repeat 4 to 6 times. However, the treadmill is the typical running machine that everyone gets bored at the gym with, you might wanna try out something new
– Elliptical trainer: This machine is the least strenuous of all machines, beginners might wanna try this out!
– Stair climber: High intensity stair climbing is not for the weak hearted, for the more confident this can get you much results the fastest. However, do take note of the posture to refrain from having knee or ankle injuries
– Stationary bike: This is not only a time efficient way of getting a good workout, but cycling also minimises injuries as it is non-weight bearing
Why you should do HIIT even if you don’t need to lose weight:
– You can do it anywhere – you do not need the use of any machines if you are the outdoor kinda person. On the streets, on a boat, with a bike or without, you’re good to go
– Increases your metabolism – This means that caloric burn is increased AND the aging process is slowed down, killing 2 birds with 1 stone!
– Healthier heart – You’re literally challenging the limits of your heart with each rep, what better way to gain cardiovascular fitness, right?
– Efficient – who has time now to go for a 2.4km run with busy work and social lives to balance?? HIIT workouts can be as short as 4 minutes if you work on getting your high and medium intensity reps right!
Allow at least one full day of recovery between sessions, so do this on alternate days for maximum effect. Do take note though, for those with heart diseases, it is crucial that you get your doctor’s OK before you get started with HIIT!