the HIIT is IT

Well hello there blogosphere, once again life has gotten in the way and delayed my post. I fully intended to talk about HIIT training a couple weeks ago and I am just now getting around to it.

HIIT_Workout_printI’ve been using HIIT trainings pretty regularly for about two weeks now, prior to that for years into my past I had been doing something known as steady state cardio. Of course, I also incorporate strength training into my training regimen, because I believe it’s crucial for women to weight train along with some kind of cardio daily. Now, I think in the workout world there is a place for steady state cardio, which for example would be getting on the treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike for 30 mins  and maintaining a study aerobic pace. I think it’s great for someone who cannot do high impact moves, someone who is just starting out, or someone who has some major weight to drop first.

Now, you might ask what is a HIIT, the acronym stands for high intensity interval training. There are many different variations, but they start with a minimum of four minutes on up to 21-30 minutes, any more time than that a maximum intensity will probably not be able to be maintained. The most popular is a Tabata version which is twenty seconds of maximum effort with an exercise followed by ten seconds of rest.  The Tabata method is pretty short usually no more than six-seven minutes, but can be repeated, which is usually recommended. There are a myriad of benefits to this type of training method: first of all the sessions are fast and because you’re working at a maximum effort you’re burning more calories in less time,–according to studies as many calories as you’d burn on the treadmill at a study rate for an hour, you need no equipment other than you’re body weight, working out anaerobically, you know to the point where you can’t catch your breath boosts your endurance, and there’s this thing know as the after burn, which by the way has been severely exaggerated by some, but still beneficial in that you continue to burn calories through out the day well after the workout, and then theres my favourite part which is it really challenges me. It really was so easy for me after I did my weight training to put on my DVR and watch last night’s recording of Dexter and log 30 minutes on the elliptical. . . .yeah that’s all I was doing was logging time.

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So after trying some of the intervals in the first poster and second poster, which I do like, but they require you to monitor your time in which case you either need a timer, I’ve heard Gymboss is a good one or there are some good apps for the iPhone, but the most useful ones I’ve found are on youtube, because they include rest time, otherwise you don’t have time to transition. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vj10mHe3i0 and this one actually accompanies the moves in the first poster, kind of cool: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoxTkPEFqKI and of course there are various other choices, the options are really endless. I think that’s what I also like about the HIIT trainings is no one workout is ever the same, so your body doesn’t have time to develop muscle memory and get lazy and some of the exercises have cute little names like crab touch or star jumps. Do not let them fool you some of the exercises are brutal and leave you gasping for air.

In addition to the timers there are lots of websites out there with workouts, but most of them are samples to get you to sign up for their workout program for a cost  like: http://www.dailyhiit.com/ and there is nothing wrong with that, of course we all need to make a living. I planned on trying one of their sample workouts; however, they’re extremely brief  (read not full workouts) and some require all kinds of equipment like sandbags, equalizers and HIIT bars.

A site I love, and cannot say enough good things (and no they’re not paying me) about is: http://www.fitnessblender.com/ They have full workouts for free ranging from easy to pretty difficult. I’ve been using Fitness Blender’s videos for both strength training and my cardio for a couple weeks and I have yet to do the same workout twice. Some workouts require weights, but you can use just the body weight exercises if you don’t have access to weights. Every day I wake up sore; today I’m feeling it in my obliques, which makes me feel alive again. If you’ve never tried a HIIT before try a short one, like what’s on the first poster and tell me what you think. You just may become addicted too.

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