Get Active with a HIIT Workout!

If you are unfamiliar with a HIIT workouts, it is a High Intensity Interval Training workout. HIITs are very popular and I am sure you have seen them advertised. So, if you are unsure what a HIIT workout is, the benefits, or if the workouts are for you; then I would encourage you to read the post.

What is a HIIT workout?

A HIIT workout is a cardiovascular workout. These exercises consist of repetitions of short, high intensity cardio intervals followed by a recovery that is usually a less intense exercise if not rest. HIITs can be cardio based, but also used with weights as well. There are several different HIIT workouts out there, so it is important to do your research and know what you are doing. These exercises usually last anywhere between 4-30 minutes. They are great workouts because they also don’t require equipment or a lot of space (which is definitely a bonus)! So, if you don’t have the time or you woke up late, then a HITT workout might work out for you. With these workouts being shorter, it is important to preform each exercise with high intensity. You have to give it all you have in order to seek results from a HIIT exercise.

What are the benefits of a HIIT workout?

HIIT workouts offer several benefits. One of the benefits mentioned above is the shorter time.  I think HIITs are wonderful workouts, but I am also a believer in getting out and walking/jogging/running, elliptical, biking, any other form of cardio, and, weight training. It is a great idea to include HIITs into your workout plan, but it may not be appropriate to only do those workouts. It is shown weight training and HIITs combined can help build/maintain muscle mass and burn the fat. However, it is recommended to do HIIT workouts only three times a week. Another benefit to a HIIT is that is can improve your cardiovascular functional capacity. According to the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, a study preformed in 2011 showed, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training. Not only are you improving your body’s cardiovascular capacity and strengthening your heart, but also burning more fat. HIITs are designed to burn a large amount of calories in a small amount of time, so your body is in super repair mode. Therefore, with that being said, it is shown that these workouts burn calories and fat 24 hours AFTER the workout is complete. Besides burning calories and fat after the workout, your metabolism will kick up as well! Your growth hormone, which helps with caloric burn is increased greatly after HIITs so your metabolism begins to speed up. I would say these benefits are definitely worth pushing yourself if you can. Remember, these are high intensity workouts. If you want to achieve these benefits, then you have to be willing to dedicate yourself to the workouts and push yourself.

Are HIIT workouts for you?

Not everyone likes HIIT workouts and some can’t do them because of back, knee, shoulder, feet, and/or breathing issues. It is okay. You don’t have to do a HIIT workout to have those benefits. You can successfully strengthen your heart, improve your cardiovascular system, increase metabolism, and decrease body fat by sticking to a work out plan with out HIITs. When you commit yourself to a workout plan, you can achieve all of those benefits. If you want to work up to doing a HIIT workout, then I encourage that. It is not wise to go from not exercising/barely exercising to doing a high intensity workout. Take your time. You don’t want to injury yourself. Also, as with any type of exercise, it is extremely important to consult with your doctor before engaging in ANY workouts, including HIITs.

Here are two examples of HIIT workouts. HIITs can be done on a bike, treadmill, while your running, lifting weights, or just wanting a quick and sweaty work out.

Example One: This is for beginners; if you want to increase intensity, do exercises for 60 seconds each and or add more exercises.

1. Warm Up for 5-10 minutes (walking, marching, jogging in place, stretching)

2. 45 seconds of squat jumps

3. 45 seconds of mountain climbers

4. 45 seconds of burpees

5. 45 seconds of suicides

6. Repeat this 2x for a total of 3 times and rest 30 seconds in between sets (every 3 minutes).

7. Cool down for 5-10 minutes

 

Example Two: This is a running HIIT. If you need to increase intensity, then you can increase your speed or your incline.

1. Warm Up for 5-10 minutes (walking, marching, jogging in place, stretching)

2. Run at 12 mph for 30 seconds to one minute (hands off!)

3. Walk easy for two minutes.

4. Repeat cycle seven more times.

5.Cool down for 5-10 minutes

Push Yourself