HIIT Workouts: Why You Need Them and How To Do Them
Strength training is the foundation of the workouts in most of my programs. However, in addition to weight training, I always include HIIT workouts into the program because they truly maximize fat burning results. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and has tons of benefits, but before we dive into that, let’s talk about what HIIT workouts really are…
What is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a workout focused on intensity training with alternating intervals of all-out-high-intensity-work and low intensity rest periods. HIIT workouts can be done in all kinds of formats: with equipment or without, in the gym or at home, body weight or weights, machines or pavement.
Alright...now onto the benefits of HIIT.
Burn Calories Even After Your Workout
Working out obviously burns calories. However, HIIT burns calories long after your workout is done. This occurs because of the way your body utilizes oxygen during your high intensity work periods. Simply put, “This physiological effect is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Also known as oxygen debt, EPOC is the amount of oxygen required to restore your body to its normal, resting level of metabolic function (called homeostasis). It also explains how your body can continue to burn calories long after you’ve finished your workout.”1
Research has also shown that HIIT workouts increase your body's resting metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after your workout is complete. This means that your metabolism speeds up for 24 hours after your HIIT workout. That sounds pretty great, doesn’t it?
Lose Belly Fat
Studies have shown that doing just a few sprints 3 times per week burns more fat after 6 weeks than doing 60 minutes of steady state-cardio (walking on an inclined treadmill) 3 times per week. In addition, 20 minutes of HIIT, 3 times a week, was shown to significantly lower a participant’s belly fat.
Improve Cardiovascular Strength
HITT requires your heart muscle to work under high demands. This strengthens the heart, lowers blood pressure and improves aerobic performance overall.
So, how do you do this HIIT thing?
HIIT is one of the simplest forms of exercise. All you need to do is pick a few moves and set a timer. You can start small with something like squat jumps and jumping lunges. Then, you alternate your high intensity interval with rest periods. So, 30 seconds of all-out squat jumps followed by 30 seconds of rest. Then, 30 seconds of jumping lunges and 30 seconds of rest. Repeat that series 4 times and you’ve just completed your first HIIT workout.
You can also try these:
- Sprint full out for 20 seconds, then walk for 30 seconds. Repeat this 10 times and you’re done!
- 30 seconds of burpees/30 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of jumping jacks/30 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of squat jumps/30 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of mountain climbers/30 seconds of rest
- 30 seconds of tuck jumps/30 seconds of rest
The key is to go full-out, can’t talk, crazy hard during your work interval and rest during your rest interval. If you aren’t breathing heavy after a few rounds of HIIT, then you aren’t doing it right! HIIT workouts allow you to slay your goals without consuming too much of your time. As a busy mom, I know that time is truly precious and want to do everything possible to build time efficient workouts for my clients. This is why HIIT is a big part of my programs! I always pair HIIT workouts with low carb days, since glucose is depleted on those days. This means that our bodies don’t have any glucose to reach into for energy, so it moves on to our fat stores! This is a phenomenal way to up your results when it comes to utilizing HIIT workouts.