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Loving/Hating HIIT training

Feel like dry heaving on the treadmill in front of everyone at the gym? Want to sweat so much that you look like you took a shower in your clothes? Did you answer YES to all of the above? Of course you did because you LOVE HIIT training!

According to Wikipedia, HIIT is High-intensity interval training, also called High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training, is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 9–20 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.

My definition of HIIT training is not as scientific but would be some where along the lines of making we want to puke………….my feet go numb………..my abs hurt so bad………..

I first started HIIT training about a year ago and found that it gave me the best results in the shortest amount of time. My obliques started popping out and I’ve never seen that before. I started out very simple by doing 5 x 30 second sprints at 8.5 mph on a 1 incline on the treadmill. I would sprint my living daylights out for 30 seconds then hop off to the side of the treadmill and rest for 30 seconds then back on back off, etc. I would do that workout every other day 3-4 times per week. I slowly started adding on more sprints and worked my way up to 10 x 30 seconds at 9 mph then 9.5 mph. My arms would flail wildly at my sides as I would hurl myself forward on the treadmill and count down the seconds until I could hop off again. This same type of workout can be done on a track or on the road, sprinting 100 m or for 30 seconds and walking/jogging another 100 m or 30 seconds.

I found that if I incorporated HIIT training into my workouts, I was leaning out faster, I felt more powerful, I could jump higher, and my distance runs became easier and easier.

Why?

Studies have shown that HIIT increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) for the following 24 hours post workout and may improve maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) more effectively than doing traditional, long aerboic workouts.  Recently, studies have shown that two weeks of HIIT can substantially improve insulin action in young healthy men.Similarly, in young women, HIIT three times per week for 15 weeks compared to the same frequency of steady state exercise (SSE) was associated with significant reductions in total body fat, subcutaneous leg and trunk fat, and insulin resistance. 

If you are new to HIIT training, I would slowly introduce it into your workouts. Start with doing 2-3 30 second sprints and add an additional 30 seconds each week. Right now, I am up to doing 1 minute sprints and lawd have mercy, I feel like Mr.Bolt when I’m all out sprinting. These workouts are hard, extremely challenging, but also extremely gratifying when you fall walk off that treadmill and know what you just did.

Hate running??? HIIT training also includes Tabata training and even weight training! Who knew!?!? BodyRock is an example of Tabata in that they do 50 seconds work with 10 seconds rest, repeat for 12 minutes. Weight training is very similar in that you could set a timer for 1 minute work 30 seconds rest and begin a new exercise at the start of every minute. HIIT weight training is best utilized with lighter weights and if you are very comfortable and safe with certain exercises and positions.

As I mentioned above, if you are new to HIIT training slowly introduce it into your workouts. If you aren’t new to HIIT and want a killer sprint interval, try this one out:
5 minute warm up
20 seconds fast run, 30 seconds walk for 5 repeats
30 seconds fast run, 30 seconds walk for 5 repeats
1 minute fast run, 30 seconds walk for 5 repeats
5 minute cool down

I do hate HIIT days but I LOVE them when I am done. Not just because I can sprawl out on the floor and later ring out my soaked sports bra but because I know that I just sprinted 2 miles and have never done that before. I love the feeling of accomplishment after an HIIT work out. I also have a love/hate relationship going on with burpees but I’ll save that for a later post……

 

Eat clean, pump some iron, and be a Fit Fox!

 

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2 thoughts on “Loving/Hating HIIT training

  1. Do you count the time it takes for the treadmill to speed up and slow down or do you wait until it’s at full speed?

    • Hi Robyn-If I am just doing 30 on 30 off or 1 min on 30 sec off, I just jump to the side of the treadmill then jump back on and never change the speeds. If I am jogging on and off, I will just go by the clock, it’s too hard to keep track of when you started at the right speed, etc.

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