High Intensity Interval Training – A New Outlook On “Cardio”
I hit up my gym 3 times per week, and usually stay for only about 30 minutes. I end up leaving the gym completely obliterated, drenched in sweat, my heart pounding and severely fatigued. But what could possibly put me in such a state of severe oxygen debt in only 30 minutes? The answer, High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. The funny thing is, when I first start my work out there is usually some out of shape guy or girl on the elliptical machine or walking on the treadmill, and when I leave the gym, there are still there. They are usually watching t.v. and haven’t even broken a sweat, and I am already done with my workout plus my metabolism is through the roof. How could someone spend so much time “working out” but never experience any fat loss results?
[This girl has a great body! Lean, toned yet her body doesn’t scream “gym!”. She just looks like a really great looking girl who is skinny and in shape.]
What Is High Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT is an extremely effective workout which is beneficial to burning fat in a short and intense workout. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 15–30 minutes and alternate between sprinting and walking. It jacks up the metabolism, increases your natural fat burning hormone (HGH) and simply helps you lose a lot more body fat than diet alone. HIIT increases the resting metabolic rate for the following 24 hours due to the post oxygen debt and fatigue, and literally sets a torch to your metabolism more effectively than doing only traditional, long, boring cardio workouts. HIIT is an excellent way to maximize your workout if you are limited on time but keep in mind, the key word here is intensity.
What A HIIT Session Looks Like
A HIIT session consists of a warm up period of exercise, followed by six to ten repetitions of high intensity exercise, alternating between low intensity exercise, and ending with a period of cool down exercise. The high intensity exercise should be done at 8/10 intensity. The low exercise should be about a 3/10 level intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise. The goal is to do at least six cycles, and to have the entire HIIT session last at least fifteen minutes and not more than twenty.
Minute – Type – Intensity Level
1 – Walk – 3/10
2 – Jog – 4/10
3 – Jog – 4/10
4 – Run – 5/10
6 – Sprint – 8/10
7 – Walk – 3/10
8 – Sprint – 8/10
9 – Walk – 3/10
10 – Sprint – 8/10
11 – Walk – 3/10
12 – Sprint – 8/10
13 – Walk – 3/10
14 – Maximum Sprint – 10/10
15 – Walk – 3/10
16-20 – Cool Down – 3/10
How Often Should I Do a HIIT Session?
HIIT should be done no more than 3-4 times per week, and it is best to do some form of strength training in between the days you do HIIT. This way, when you perform your Interval Session, your body uses fat for energy instead of muscle, and ultimately you will be a fat burning machine! Keep in mind that after you perform a HIIT session, you should always stretch. Sprinting is an extremely good workout but you must make sure to stretch out to prevent an injury or any sort of muscle tension in your legs.
Craig Ballantyne Demonstrates Intervals
[Craig Ballantyne is a Men’s Health magazine expert, certified strength & conditioning specialist, and guru creator of Turbulence Training.]
Note: To maximize your intense interval workout, I suggest not eating at least 3-4 hours before your workout, and 30 minutes before your workout have one or two cups of coffee. Also, wait an hour after your workout to eat because this way your metabolism will be torching fat up to 24 hours after your workout, take advantage of this metabolic fire. Let your body burn some extra body fat and then eat an hour or two later.