What is HIIT

10 Jul 2013

More likely than not, you’ve heard of HIIT but if you’re anything like me you might be confused about what exactly it means and how to do it! Fear not my friends, HIIT is actually super fun, pretty easy once you get the hang of it and I promise you’ll never go back to your old ways of working out once you try this!

If you are interested in my exact workout routines please click here to check out my new workout plan.

HIIT is quite simply “high intensity interval training” and is one of the best forms of cardio/exercise you can do for yourself (see the picture below, as this is the perfect example of marathon running which is long, sustained cardio versus HIIT which can change your body shape dramatically). I used to be the person that sat on the bike in the gym for 45 minutes barely breaking a sweat. Now I will go into a gym or head outside and workout for 30 minutes max (I normally do 20 minutes), all-out, as hard as I can and look like I’ve taken a shower by the time I’m finished. HIIT challenges both your mind and body because you have to push yourself more than you ever have, but the feeling you get afterwards is pretty amazing. You will also see results a lot quicker when doing this type of workout, which I’m pretty sure everyone wants.

3-Easy-Steps-to-Summer-Abs-1

So what exactly does HIIT entail?

In basic language, you will be doing short periods of extremely intense exercises whether it’s running, going from things like pushups to jumping jacks very quickly, or super-sets with weights with no breaks. The goal of HIIT is to do a shorter workout but all-out, as hard as you can go! So how much or many days a week should you be doing HIIT? I personally do it 20 minutes, two or three times a week. But keep in mind my goals are different than yours.

If you are trying to put on muscle, you should be focusing more on weight training and less on cardio. However, everyone benefits from cardiovascular exercise and I recommend doing it at least two times a week. You really don’t need to be doing more than 4x a week and I do believe in switching up your routine, so doing yoga, HIIT, weights, getting outside for fresh air exercise.

CARDIO ONLY HIIT

For this type you can jump on any piece of equipment at the gym, or head outside for a run, getting on a bicycle, etc. I personally love Tabata, which is 20 seconds sprint, 10 seconds rest, but you could do any length of time as long as it’s short, challenging and pushing you to your max.

5-MINUTE CARDIO ROUTINE, repeat 2-3x

  • 60-second warm up (I recommend using a skipping rope)
  • 30-second sprint, or sprint from where you are standing the next lamp-post in front of you (this is a great one to do if you don’t want to count time, rather using visuals as your goal)
  • 30-second walking
  • 30-second sprint
  • 30-second walking
  • 30-second sprint
  • 30-second walking
  • 60-second cool down

5-MINUTE RESISTANCE HIIT, repeat 2-3x

For this you will be incorporating your body weight into the exercise, while still getting your heart rate up and body sweating. The goal for this is to either do as many repetitions as possible in the time given or doing a certain number or reps then jumping straight into the next set.

5-MINUTE RESISTANCE ROUTINE

  • 20-seconds of mountain climbers
  • 20-seconds of push-ups
  • 20-seconds knee-highs
  • 15-second rest
  • 20-seconds of crunches
  • 20-seconds of burpees
  • 20-seconds jumping jacks
  • 15-second rest
  • 20-seconds of squats
  • 20-seconds of walking lunges
  • 20-seconds mountain climbers
  • 15-second rest
  • 20-seconds of push-ups
  • 20-seconds of burpees
  • 20-seconds crunches
  • 15-second rest

Here is another great place I recommend for HIIT workout videos: Body Rock TV.

xoxo,Nikki

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