If you’re like me, then when you think of cardio, you think of a long, boring, drawn out jogging/biking session. But it’s time to get out of the box that we’re living in, and to start thinking about cardio differently. It’s time to look at High Intensity Interval Training!
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT combines bursts of high intensity sprints with slower recovery stages. Typically, high intensity interval training should be done at a 2:1 ratio of recovery to work, and the work interval should last for 60 seconds. Your sprints need to last 60 seconds because this will completely exhaust your muscles of all their stored energy, and increases your resting metabolic rate for up to 24 hours due to excess post exercise oxygen consumption.
Because high intensity interval training pushes your body to its limits, you can forget about those boring hour-long cardio sessions and focus on 20-30 minutes cardio sessions that will give you results faster. Now you can have that flat belly and six pack you always wanted!
Benefits of HIIT
- Improved Cardiovascular endurance
- Increased adrenal elasticity
- Improves maximum oxygen consumption (V02 max)
- Increase in lean muscle mass – by activating your fast twitch muscle fibers you can burn fat faster and build lean muscle mass.
- Shorter training sessions will leave you with more time to enjoy the activities you love.
- Lowered risk of injury from over training.
- The variation in the intervals will make your workout less boring.
High Intensity Interval Training : Workout Example
High Intensity Interval Training workouts are in-frigging-tense! As such, they should be done up to 3 times a week to allow your body adequate recovery time.
Before you begin any high intensity interval training you should warm up. Do whatever you need to get your core body temperature up and your body loose. Normally, this can be done with a jog at 40% of your VO2 max in 10 minutes. Finish your warmup with some light stretching, and now its time to get this party started.
For your High Intensity Interval Training workout, you’re going to want to sprint at 75-100% of your VO2 max for 60-90 seconds. Then, you’re going to kick it down several notches, to a light jog or walk for 90-120 seconds. I prefer sticking with a light jog, mainly because I find it easier to push myself on the following sprint. Do 5-8 repetitions of the fast-slow combo, and you’re guaranteed to be sucking wind by the end.
This is just one example of High Intensity Interval Training. Keep in mind that High Intensity Interval Training can be done outdoors, or indoors with any Cardio machine in your local gym. So the next time you’re thinking about doing cardio, give High Intensity Interval Training a shot, you’ll see gains quickly as you increase the anabolic hormones in your body to increase your muscle mass and burn away fat. You’ll see results faster than ever before!