Wanna know why your gut still jiggles despite hours of exercise? It’s all that tedious, boring jogging. If you want to go shirtless and cut your workout time in half, say good-bye to five-mile runs and hello to high-intensity interval training or HIIT.
The concept behind HIIT is simple: Exercise as hard as you can for a few minutes, recover just long enough to stop sucking wind, and repeat. This spikes your metabolism and builds muscle quickly. And unlike those leisurely treadmill sessions, it burns calories both during a workout and (here’s the beautiful part) for up to 24 hours afterward.
In order to erase the body’s oxygen debt, fatty acids are released and used as fuel for recovery. This all happens in the time after a workout is complete. You will not receive this great benefit simply doing low intensity exercise. You need to be working out in your anaerobic zone at maximal heart rates to really see that added fat loss effect.The regiment is brutal but quick. You’ll be done with the whole thing in twenty to thirty sweat-filled (and swear-filled) minutes.
The key is to pick exercises that use the majority of muscle groups. Using HIIT for isolation exercises will be ineffective. However, using them for full body exercises like sprinting, squats, deadlifts, and plyometrics will really kick your fat loss into high gear.
The combinations are endless when it comes to HIIT workouts. We could do any combination of intervals, but here are a few examples:
-Squats for reps for 1 minute and then rest for one minute, then repeat for 20 minutes.
-Deadlifts for reps for 1 minute and then rest for one minute, then repeat for 20 minutes.
-Circuit training: mix up squats, bench press, deadlifts, and pullups, doing 1 minute of exercise for every 1 minute of rest. Repeat for 20 minutes.
-Bodyweight HIIT training: combine bodyweight squats, pushups, and pullups for 1 minute of exercise followed by 1 minute of rest. Repeat for 20 minutes.
-Box jumps: jump onto and off of a box as quickly as possible for 1 minute and then rest for 1 minute. Repeat for 20 minutes.
-Jump rope: jump rope for 1 minute of exercise followed by 1 minute of rest. Repeat for 20 minutes.
The key is to do a full body exercise for a certain period of time, and follow it up with a short rest interval, and then get right back into it. Yes, you are going to be breathing hard and not fully recovered before you start your next working set, but that’s what makes HIIT so effective. Your goal is to be able to work out at a high intensity for a longer period of time with less and less rest between intervals.
To progress with HIIT, you are going to want to vary your interval times. Try lowering the amount of rest time between high intensity intervals, or try jogging instead of walking. Try shaving just 5 seconds off of every rest interval each time you work out. Eventually, you will be sprinting at a higher speed for a longer period of time than when you started.
Why not give high-intensity interval training a try. You don’t need to do it every single workout, but maybe do it once a week to start to see how it goes.