Have a Little HIIT! Wait... what?

Katie Morse is the trainer for The Regimen.

Sometimes life gets hectic; your schedule gets bombarded and before you know it you’re exhausted or out of time to hit the gym. If you’re pressed for time but really want to crank out a good workout, don’t fret! There is a solution.

High intensity interval training (better known as HIIT) is a type of exercise that involves short, high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest. It’s an incredible form of cardiovascular exercise. Believe it or not – most HIIT workouts are only 10-20 minutes in length.

There are many different ways to perform HIIT. The Tabata method, for example, uses a 2:1 of work-to-rest ratio – you perform a specific exercise at max effort for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. There is no right or wrong exercise to pick for those 20 seconds. However, the general rule of thumb is that the exercises selected should be challenging enough to get your heart rate going, because that’s how you’ll break a sweat! Some exercises you can do are burpees, jump squats, lunges, pushups, dips, etc.

Another variation would be alternating between cardiovascular and resistance training. This could be done by running or biking 2-3 minutes followed by a set of pushups and bicep curls with a quick rest before starting up the cardio again.

Even simpler - this could be done solely on the treadmill. Push yourself to sprint at max speed for 1 minute and follow it up by a 1 minute walk. Continue alternating between the two for 20 minutes.

The beauty of HIIT workouts of any type is that they are short and quick. They also leave room for tons of creativity. Believe it or not, HIIT workouts have been scientifically proven to increase fat burning, give your metabolism a boost and improve both your aerobic and anaerobic cardio. With HIIT, the body becomes more efficient at producing and using energy from the anaerobic energy system and can remove metabolic waste more effectively from the muscles during recovery intervals, resulting in increased performance.

Keep the golden rule in mind: give 100% throughout your entire workout and you’ll really reap the benefits.