HIIT cardio workout

One of the ten million fitness barriers that people face is finding the time to get in a good workout.  Enter High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT.

HIIT alternates periods of high intensity exercise with periods of rest (or very low intensity exercise) for a set number of intervals.

In a HIIT workout you are increasing both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, which improves your endurance and burns more calories in less time than a steady state cardiovascular workout.  The best part about HIIT is that if done regularly, these workouts can actually increase your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which allows you to burn more fat even when you’re not working out!

For me, the best part of HIIT is that I never get bored during these workouts–my mind is always trained on the clock.  Another benefit is that these workouts can translate to many types of gym equipment and venues:

  • treadmill
  • elliptical machine
  • rowing machine
  • stationary bike
  • indoor/outdoor track
  • pool
  • jump rope

You definitely need a timepiece for these workouts.  Anything will do, but if you don’t have a heart rate monitor and you’re serious about your fitness, I highly recommend getting one.  Click HERE to see mine.

Here is sample HIIT workout for beginners :

  • WARMUP: 2 minutes
  • HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL: 60 seconds– Here you should be exercising vigorously and should not be able to talk comfortably.
  • REST INTERVAL: 2 minutes– Here you should still be moving, but at a comfortable pace.
  • REPEAT 6 TIMES
  • COOL DOWN: 2 minutes

The above workout should take a total of 22 minutes.  If you push yourself during the high intensity intervals, you should get a great workout.

Just for fun (and for an extreme reference point), I’ll throw in an advanced form of HIIT. Also called Tabata training, it takes only 4 minutes to complete and has been compared to running for an hour on the treadmill:

  • HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL: 20 seconds
  • REST: 10 seconds
  • REPEAT 8 TIMES

WARNING!  The above workout is super intense (I’m actually afraid to try it because I don’t like throwing up after I work out).   Check with your physician before starting any new exercise regime.

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