A popular and effective way to get that sleek, ripped body that we all dream about having is through a system called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) (also known as High Intensity Intermittent Training.)
You don’t need any fancy equipment to do it. Yet it can be as varied as the many people that practice it. At the same time you will lose any excess weight that you don’t want. Your energy and stamina will increase dramatically. Your cardio health will improve.
The wonderful thing about HIIT is that it can be done in as little as 4 to 30 minutes. This is perfect for a lunch hour, during an afternoon break or before turning in at night.
HIIT usually is broken down into
- A warm up to get your muscles warmed up.
- Next, you perform aerobic activity at full power for a set interval.
- You then perform a moderate level of activity for a shorter interval.
- You may repeat this process for your set exercise time.
- You end with a cool down period.
The ratio that many people follow is 2:1, that is 30 minutes of intense exercise to 15 minutes of moderate exercise. Some proponents say a 1:1 ratio is better you can choose the one that best suits you.
This sounds simple and it is. However, how you go about doing it is what gives this system its flexibility because almost anything may become a HIIT workout. Such as:
- HIIT may be as simple as climbing stairs at a rapid rate, followed by a leisurely walk back down and out the door.
- At the gym an intense-run on a treadmill followed by a cut back in the speed of the treadmill.
- HIIT sprinting up a hill and then a moderate jog around at the top to bring the heart rate back down.
- The Peter Coe Method of 200 meter runs with 30-second recovery time.
- The Tabata technique of 20 seconds ultra-intense exercise @ 170% of VO2Max (peak Oxygen uptake) followed by 10 seconds rest repeated for 4 minutes, for 8 Cycles, total.
- The Little Method of 60 seconds intense exercise @ 95% VO2 Max 75 seconds of rest for 8-12 cycles. In this case, the rest period is longer.
- Billy Blanks Tae bo program modified to fit the 2:1/1:1 ratio for a 10 minute power surge.
- Even a traditional martial art like Aikido can be turned into a HIIT exercise regime at your local dojo. Randori practice, where multiple opponents attack in sequence for 1-5 minutes, followed by one of one practice adhering to the 2:1/1:1 ratio of timing.
- Dancing is especially suited for HIIT for women or men select your music speed and you can create your own personalized system of exercise that suits your time, mood and the level you want to achieve.
- A simple rubber ball hung from an eye loop in the gargae makes for an intensive hand and foot coordination exercise regime as you hit and kick it and dance around with the ball as it moves.
- Single Handball at the gym where you attempt to defeat yourself at handball is another way to apply HIIT to a popular sport.
- Enthusiasts of the Russian Kettlebell have a system that was virtually made for HIIT training.
- Pilates can be turned into a 35 minute Fat burning workout and toning regime.
- Power Vinyasa yoga builds cardio while sculpting the body into shape while it tones and firms the chest and buttocks.
- Insanity Workout
High Intensity Interval Training is a fast simple way to get the workout you want and help you lose the weight you need to get off in the limited time that you have.
You can get Fitness DVDs and books or even download e-Books that will show you how HIIT may be applied to your favourite activity.
Remember, HIIT is only limited by your imagination.
Make sure you perform HIIT safely;
- Warm up adequately before a HIIT session and cool down properly.
- Make sure you are getting the right kind of nutrition. Although HIIT is only performed for short periods of time it takes up a lot of energy. If you are reducing your calorie intake make sure you don’t go too low or you will just suffer from exhaustion and injury.
- Allow your body a chance to recover from such an intense workout.
As with any exercise regime please check with your doctor before embarking on this or any exercise program.
Give it a try today and tell us know how you go!
By the way, a very good book that you could look at is:
Check out our Favourite Fitness DVDs >>