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Monday, July 19, 2010

High Intensity Interval Training

A great way to get in a great cardio workout when you're crunched for time and looking to blast fat is high intensity interval training. Research has shown that high intensity interval training (HIIT) not only saves time, but it is much more efficient at blasting fat and helping to keep you lean while also getting your heart into better shape. It's an all-around winner that many fitness enthusiasts even call the secret to success so you might just want to give it a try, especially if you want to gain an edge on the competition or bust through a plateau. It's also great if you just want a killer workout that will keep your engine revved for the rest of the day. Here's how to do it.

First, pick a cardiovascular activity you enjoy doing. It can be a machine at the gym such as the elliptical or treadmill if you like that kind of thing or you can take it outside with a road run or bike ride. You pick! Next, make sure you've got a watch or timer that tracks time easily to the second. A timer is an added bonus. Make sure it will be easy to monitor your time spent exercising. Now you're ready to begin your workout.

1. Warm up for 2 minutes at a moderate pace.
2. Sprint (or go as fast as you can) for 30 seconds. If you're using a heart rate monitor, you want to be at a minimum of 75% of your maximum heart rate.
3. Slow your pace to an easy intensity for 90 seconds.
4. Repeat this cycle of sprinting for 30 seconds and recovering for 90 seconds 5-7 times, trying to increase your intensity on the sprint each time.
5. Cool down for 3 minutes at a very easy pace.

If you're new to exercise, be sure to get cleared by your doctor before trying something this intense. Also, be sure to give your body easier days in between these HIIT workouts. I don't recommend doing this workout more than twice a week, as it is very intense. If you are recovering from an injury or injury-prone, be careful with this as well.

Nutrition is extremely important too, especially when training this hard and wanting to get results. Be sure to hydrate, eat lots of lean protein, fresh fruits and veggies, and whole grains. Don't eat anything for at least 90 minutes before this workout. Afterwards, a whey protein shake would make a great recovery meal. Be sure to include some quality carbohydrates, such as a banana and/or berries, with your protein choice in your recovery smoothie or meal as well.

Let me know how it works for you. I'm always interested in hearing from you at Make today great!

1 comment:

  1. Hiya Planker Power -

    A great way to do HITs with friends is to create a challenge on and then invite them to join you.

    We use Twitter, Facebook, or email, and you can join anyone else's public challenge (not limited to exercise - challenges to drink enough water are another way to use the web to stay healthy).

    I hope you'll try us out! You can challenge me here:

    To your health-
    Jen McCabe
    Get Up and Move
    Contagion Health
    "Illness is viral; health can be contagious too."