HIIT It Hard

If have you no interest in regularly spending an hour on the treadmill, bicycle, elliptical or stepper. It’s just not going to happen. You couldn’t pay me to do it and I highly recommend that if you do not like a form of exercise, find an alternative that you do. That doesn’t mean to totally neglect that piece of the puzzle, it just means you need to find something else to put in its place that you enjoy. Cardio is unfortunately a necessary evil when it comes to achieving your physique goals and burning off unwanted body fat.

For those who have been living under a rock for the last few year HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by a short recovery period.  What’s not to love? No matter what your goal, HIIT should be a part of your weekly training schedule.

There is no other form of cardio thats tests your mental fortitude like HIIT. There is a good chance that in the middle of your HIIT session you think you could very well die. HIIT will accomplish two goals: it will help accelerate fat loss and improve aerobic and anaerobic endurance. Here’s how:

Increased Metabolism: Combing high intensity with interval training results in excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which speeds your metabolic rate and translates into a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine. This means you’ll still be burning fat even after you’ve finished. HIIT also reduces the bodies inflammation, forcing it to improve its ability to use and burn energy.

Burn more calories faster: HIIT is great if you have a limited amount of time to work out – 15 minutes of high intensity interval training burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for an hour. The idea of being able to work out for such a short amount of time and get results, rather than slogging away on the treadmill for hours = no-brainer.

Heart Health: Pushing yourself to a level where you lose your breath and feel your heart pounding faster and faster is tough, real tough. With interval training it’s easier to get to that level because of the rest interval that comes right after you reach that point. This helps keep a healthy heart and helps blood flow effectively throughout your whole body.

Here’s my favourite types of HIIT:

  • Assault Bike Tabata – 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest for 8 rounds (my record is 67 cals in that 3min nightmare), do 2 sets of this.
  • Rower Sprints – 1 minute work, 2 minutes rest, 3 sets.
  • Sled Pushing – Start with 20kg on the sled, push it 40 metres, rest 1 minutes & add 20kg, push it another 40m and repeat. I’ll usually get to about 80kg (3 x 40m) then perform a drop set of sorts where I’ll take a 20kg plate off every 20m until there is only 1 x 20kg plate left.
  • Tabata Rope Slams – 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest for 4 rounds, do 3 sets of this.

When HIIT is done correctly (and it’s paired with a solid nutrition plan), you can lose belly fat, gain some lean muscle & improve the health of your heart.