WTF is HIIT?

Mornin’ y’all!

Know why Texans say y’all?  Because they hate OU!

It’s been an active morning here in Tulsa.  I took to the streets from my downtown office this morning and ran back to my neighborhood to hit the hills.  Since I ran three reps last week, I increased to five this week.  San Francisco race is just ten days away!

Now on to the true point of this post, which is to help explain what HIIT means.  If you’re in the fitness social media world this hashtag #hiit has been popping up more and more recently.  After reading this post, you’ll be fully educated on what it stands for, means, the benefits and will have a workout example of your own to try!  (Proceed with caution).

WTF is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  This method of training is starting to push the steady state cardio approach out of the spotlight.  Sorry girls, no more mindless hours strolling away on the elliptical…..

Basically HIIT is just what it sounds like.  Repeated bouts of high intensity work with periods of rest or less intense work in between.  The idea is to get your heart rate up high (and simultaneously sky rocketing your calorie burn), give it a quick rest to catch your breath and then spike it back up again.  This up and down ends up keeping your average heart rate higher than you would doing steady state low intensity for a longer period of time.  You’ll get more calorie burn, more muscle building and more weight loss in less time!  Who doesn’t love efficiency?!

Benefits of HIIT

Besides being a more efficient way to conquer most fitness goals (unless you’re trying to run a marathon.  In that circumstance there certainly is a time and place for steady state 2-3 hour runs), HIIT has a long list of other benefits.

  • Increased aerobic health
  • Increased cardiovascular health
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved insulin sensitivity (a marker for diabetes and metabolic syndrome)
  • Improved cholesterol levels
  • Reduced body fat
  • Improved or maintained muscle mass

Have a look at that list and tell me you don’t want all of those things going on in your body!

Design Your Own HIIT

These workouts are simple and fun (maybe just for me 😉 ) to design on your own.

  1. Choose 3-5 exercises.  Depending on your goals for the day, they can combine to be a full body routine or you can choose to focus on one specific area like abdominals.
  2. Choose your work:rest intervals.  I recommend beginners starting out with a 30:30 work:rest ratio.  Intermediate can try 45:15 and superfit can go 1 minute on all the way through.

The thing to keep in mind here is that rest doesn’t mean you’re weak.  Use the rest time to recover, catch your breath and restore your mind to go all out in the next work interval.  Take those breaks!

3.  Decide how many rounds you’ll do.  Beginners I’d recommend one round.  Intermediate 2-3 and advanced as many as 5.  It will also depend how much time you have to spend doing the workout.  HIIT workouts of 5 minutes can still be effective in terms of controlling blood hormone levels or getting a quick calorie burn in, so don’t discount the short workout!

A HIIT Workout for you to try!

If you’re not feeling creative today, or aren’t sure where to start – here’s one I’ve written AND filmed to eliminate those excuses for you.  Get after it!

  1. Box jumps (No box?  Great, just pretend you’re jumping rope)
  2. Pushups with rotation (alternate rotating sides)
  3. Side lunge to squat jump (alternate lunging sides)
  4. DB punches (No DBs?  Great, just punch the air.  Seriously, still effective)
  5. Walking lunges (No room to walk?  Ok, alternate forward lunges)
  6. Weighted crunches (I think you know what I’ll say here….)

Interval:  Beginners shoot for 30w:30r.  Intermediate 45w:15r.  Advanced 60w:0r

Rounds: Beginners 1.  Intermediate 3.  Advanced up to 5.  (Rest one minute between rounds).

 

Check out my Facebook Page Coach Sprenkel for a video clip of each move!!

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