High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of cardiovascular training that will burn more calories allowing for quicker weight loss while maintaining muscle, improving anaerobic capacity in a shorter period of time.
As a runner, I've always enjoyed my long outdoor runs, usually dreading the use of a treadmill indoors when the weather turns cold - until this past winter when I devised a high intensity interval training workout.
The main intent for my HIIT was to become leaner without losing muscle for my second competition. I quickly fell in love with my new program, despite my feelings toward the treadmill. I found myself anxiously awaiting my next HIIT workout more than my long runs!
My obsession with HIIT grew even more when I began noticing a reduction of inches and pounds lost due to committing to the program and eating clean. With HIIT you are burning more calories and fat during the workout as well as boosting your metabolism long after the session.
HIIT is an interval workout which involves coming out of the comfort zone, usually including periods of high and low intensity activities lasing from seconds to a few minutes and then a period of rest. You may use a treadmill, elliptical or any other cardio machine. This type of training is not limited to running and may be performed anywhere, requiring little space if you prefer working out at home.
Don't have equipment? Not a problem. With this workout your main focus is to push yourself to the anaerobic zone where the body becomes winded, a period of rest and repeating the process. Such activities may include: agility and plyometric moves, burpees, jumping jacks or quick feet. Look around your home, there are many ways to incorporate an exercise with what's around you. Many of my clients use their stairs not only for a muscle toning workout going up and down them, but also for toe taps and push-ups.
HIIT is ideal for your busy schedule, training on your lunch break. It's a great way to get in shape quickly with sessions lasting only 15 minutes, two to three days a week.
Runners will also reap the benefits of incorporating a HIIT program. I find I have increased endurance and speed on my runs.
This training may not be right for everyone. Consult with a physician before beginning any new program. I recommend fueling up with good carbohydrates and perform a proper warm-up before each session.
Leave your favorite book, magazine and iPod at home - you won't need them. This fast paced program is far from boring. Time goes by quickly whether it's performed at the gym or as a group. I find it to be fun and my clients love how invigorating they feel once completed.