High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a way of structuring your training routines that uses short, sharp periods of intense exercise (high intensity intervals) staggered with gentler recovery periods.
HIIT has a few advantages. First of all, it’s quick. You can get a lot of training done in just a few minutes. You will also get an incredible cardiovascular and metabolic response from this training – far more so than you would from regular, steady state cardio forms like jogging or cycling. This means that your heart will be healthier and stronger, and you will burn more energy in the form of calories.
There is usually a resistance to HIIT, as you will typically perform the intervals in or around a level of intensity conducive to hypertrophy. Therefore, you can burn calories, improve heart function and build muscle simultaneously, all in a relatively short amount of time.
We’re going to break out HIIT workout into three sections – a warmup, a cardio blast, and some resistance based circuit training. The warmup will prepare your muscles and mind for the training ahead, the cardio blast will bring your heart rate up to the 85%+ orange zone (particularly good for weight loss), whilst the resistance element will elicit muscular gains whilst still keeping your heart rate high.
Use a static upright cycle. Cycle consistently for 4 minutes, trying not to alter your pace too much.
Now use a spin bike. You will be here for six minutes. Set a Tabata or HIIT timer to six rounds at a 40:20 split – this means 40 seconds of work to 20 seconds of rest, repeated for six rounds. Sprint through the 40 second rounds, pedaling as hard as possible, going as fast as you can. During the 20 second periods, cycle sedately, moving still but using the time to recover.
This will be a circuit, more than classical HIIT, but it will work the same mechanisms. For this, set a timer to 8 minutes, set up a heavy barbell for rack pulls, a set of dumbbells for overhead pressing, and an ab wheel or TRX bands for rollouts. At the beginning of every minute, perform 5 reps of each. It should be hard work, but achievable, so choose weights accordingly. Use the rest of the minute to rest. Repeat 8 times for the full ten minutes.
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