Let’s talk a little about High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. This type of training is very popular right now, I’ve even included some in my workouts. The claim is that if you do a shorter workout, at a higher level of intensity, you’ll burn more fat and get in better shape than steady state workouts like running for 45 minutes on the treadmill. You can apply HIIT to the treadmill, the bike, the elliptical, and even strength training. I like HIIT workouts so much better because they are faster and, especially on the treadmill, I don’t get bored. You’re constantly changing your speed so your mind doesn’t turn off. I know that if I’m running at a constant speed for too long, I get incredibly bored therefore I don’t feel like I’m working hard enough.
The workouts are high intensity in a short amount of time. You push yourself for 30 sec-1 minute as hard as you can go, then you rest for up to 2 minutes, then you push yourself again, and continue the repetitions for about 20-30 minutes. You need to make sure you’re pushing yourself past your comfort zone. The cool thing, and to add a bit of science to this, is that your EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) goes way up, meaning the oxygen that you consume once you’re done exercising is higher than a steady state workout. This means that the amount of fat you’ll burn later in the day is up to 9x more than a steady state workout. So, while you’re sitting on your couch in the evening, your body is still working overtime. Pretty cool huh? HIIT workouts also improve your V02 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you consume while exercising, which means you get in better shape faster and you’ll be able to run either at a faster pace or farther then next time you do a steady state workout.
Now just because I’m advocating HIIT, doesn’t mean I”m discounting a steady state workout. There is a place for both of these types of workouts in your routine. Just be careful with your steady state workouts; working out for long durations at moderate intensity causes your body to go into a catabolic state in which your body starts to use your muscle mass for energy instead of fat or carbs. You can avoid catabolic state by not overtraining making sure you get the right nutrients into your body after a hard workout. I’ve talked about those before…protein and carbohydrates. Here are some websites that give you an idea of what a HIIT workout would look like. I’ve done Tabata training with my clients, and they are completely exhausted at the end of the workout. Check out my next post for the HIIT workout Tracy and I did today!
Add HIIT into your workout routine, especially if you’re trying to drop extra pounds.