I've already posted about the benefits of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) HERE, but I wanted to share some of my favourite types of HIIT workouts and how I incorporate them into my weekly workout routine.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, HIIT workouts are awesome for elevating your metabolism and helping you burn fat even when you're no longer exercising! If you're doing it right, even though you're not interval training for long periods of time, it should be high demand. For this reason, I never do HIIT workouts two days in a row. I want my body to get as much as it can from the exercise and fully recover (so it can get stronger and fitter) before doing another HIIT workout. Every body is different, and it may work for some, but I never recommend doing HIITs back-to-back.
I shoot for 3x a week, every other day. I like to get in a variety to keep my body on its toes and to stop me from getting bored. Below is how I've incorporated it into my weekly workouts and it's been working really well for me!
I warm up with a Tabata-like style by doing 4 different plyomentric (explosive) exercises that are great for getting the heart rate up and leaning the legs. I do the first exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat that 3 more times. After the last set, I move onto the next exercise and do the same thing. Some of my favourite plyometric leg exercises are: box jumps, single leg burpees, jump lunges, jump squats, and kettlebell swings. Once I have completed those 4 sets, I move onto weights training for my lower body.
I used to like running, but I haven't loved it for a few years. BUT I do love sprints. I love going all out and then taking a break. Sprints are actually really good for burning stubborn fat, particularly in the abdomen. On Wednesday's, I typically do 30 seconds of sprinting as fast as I can on either the treadmill or the indoor track, and then 30 seconds of rest. I repeat this for 15 minutes before moving onto weights.
I haven't been teaching spin classes since January because we are moving to Arizona soon, and I miss the bike! I absolutely love spin, so I try to get on the bike for my last HIIT. I like cranking up the intensity and going as fast as I can out of the saddle for 40 seconds, and then sitting in the saddle as a *slightly* lower intensity for 20 seconds. I repeat this for 15-20 minutes.
This is how I incorporate it into my routine, and it works for me because I ENJOY plyometrics, sprints, and spinning. Find something you enjoy and experiment with a HIIT. My favourite thing about this type of training is that you can do it with anything - swimming, cycling, running, even just body weight exercises like squats and push ups! When coaching, I would often have clients who were severely overweight and had never been active before start with walking at a brisk pace for 30 seconds, then walking slowly for 30-60 seconds. You can start anywhere! Just make sure to check with your doctor and listen to your body.