Description of High-intensity interval training (HIIT): any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity. For example: performing jumping jacks fast as you can for 1 minute and then doing luunges, slowly, for 2 minutes. Repeat that 3-minute interval five times for a 15-minute, fat-blasting workout.
When I first heard about HIIT, I thought it sounded WAY too easy to be effective, but after a little research I decided to try HIIT myself. Wow! I’m a fan now! Because I am a busy woman who serves busy women, I believe that High Intensity Interval Training(HIIT) is the best workout for women, especially the women who are short on time!
So here is what I’ve found is true about HIIT:
Super-efficient HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule. Most of my clients are multi-tasking leaders, and I’ve found HIIT to be quick enough for them to squeeze in a workout during your lunch break. I’ve also seen women get up 10 minutes earlier or stay up 10 minutes later to get their session in and they get great results! Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour! Don’t you LOVE it?
2. Burn More Fat
Not only do you burn more calories during HIIT workouts, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after, say, a steady-pace run. Celebrity personal trainer Chalene Johnson swears by this fat-blast-blessing, and she created the DVD program Turbo-Fire to capitalize on it!
3. Healthier Heart and Sharp Mind
Most people aren’t used to pushing into the anaerobic zone (that lovely place where you can’t breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But by doing HIIT, you can get their quickly and easily! There is also nothing like having that sharp, clear-headed feeling that comes after entering the anaerobic zone. HIIT is key to feeling alert and mentally active.
4. Lose Weight, Not Muscle
Anyone who has been on a diet knows that it’s hard to not lose muscle mass along with fat. HIIT workouts allow people to preserve their hard-earned muscles while ensuring most of the weight lost comes from fat stores. Win/win!
5. Look Younger
In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!
6. Do It Anywhere
Since it’s such a simple concept—go at maximum effort for a short period of time followed by a recovery period and repeat—you can adapt it to whatever time and space constraints you have. Using a portable DVD player, I take my HIIT workouts with me so I really can HIIT whenever, wherever…and I don’t have to create my own routines.
This is not a workout you can do while reading a magazine or chatting with your friend. Because it’s so short, you will be working hard the whole time. Sometimes I share my personal workout sessions with friends or neighbors, and I warn them before we begin: “Let’s save chatting for after the workout – we’ll both be too focused and busy to talk!”
The very best HIIT workouts I’ve come across are:
10 Minute Trainer
This is a very flexible program where you do what I call “baby HIIT” because it’s not as long or as intense as most HIIT workouts, making it the perfect program for beginners. I recommend it to every one of my clients because it’s simply invaluable to any woman who has a busy life…99% of my clients! If you have only 10 minutes on some days but need effective workouts, this is your program.
This is for seasoned exercisers because the workouts are what I would call “advanced.” Turbo-Fire sessions are much longer than 10 minutes – typically 25 – 50 minutes – and the jumping calls for a strong, injury-free body as well. If you currently exercise and want to integrate HIIT, this is the program for you!
Ok ladies, we have officially entered the “extreme” zone. I would say that Insanity ASYLUM is the hardest workout program ever put to DVD, where Shaun T is the official king of HIIT! Yes, it’s so tough that my clients say that once you complete 30 days of Insanity ASYLUM, you really feel like you can do anything. Personally, I love that feeling of top-tier strength and overcoming the toughest challenge available to me, so I do this program once every 3 months just to stay in the upper-tier of fitness (as a coach, sorta have to!). I recommend this extreme HIIT program to women who are used to high intensity exercise already and who want to wear the “athlete” shirt!
Summing it up for you:
I hope this article has inspired you to enter into a season of HIIT exercise, at whatever level will gently challenge you. Quick, fat-blasting workouts that get you there much quicker – and have the ability to keep you there!
Most of the information for this article was gathered from 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) By Charlotte Andersen for Shape online, and Beachbody.
Please share your experience with HIIT in the comments section: