HIIT: High Intensity Inverval Training

I discovered HIIT on YouTube one day when I was putting together my own mix of exercises via iMovie on the Mac. I was watching a video from user CharlieJames1975 and was bewitched by the tiny girl’s accent and killer body. Currently there is an English girl doing the videos, named Lisa, but it was Zuzanna who originally got me going on the bodyrock.tv kick.

HIIT is where you do very intense moves that incorporate all muscles of your body into a short amount of time (usually 10-20 minutes). BodyRock.tv usually times their workouts with 50 seconds of the exercise and ten seconds rest until the timer is up. I do like this way of doing it because it really keeps your heart rate up for longer. Other HIIT strategies, however, suggest there be a 2 to 1 ratio of intense moves vs. rest time; for example, I sometimes do 40 seconds of jump-rope and do a light march for 20 seconds, then repeat for a total of ten times. Because the total time working out is so short, you need to put out a maximum effort all the way through, but have perfect form for every single move. If your muscles start giving way towards the end of that 50 second interval, do a modification of the move; like instead of pushups do them on your knees. But keep moving, do not stop during that 50 seconds. Your rest time is that 10 seconds in between, not any other time. You do have to push yourself until your muscles burn, though, or it won’t be effective.

Now, you can’t be looking at your watch every fifty and ten seconds. You must get an interval timer. You set it for total number of sets and then two interval times – 10 and 50. It simply beeps every time you are to start and stop your exercise. Then it beeps multiple times when the workout is complete. Be sure to do a short warm up and cool down before and after. It is also recommended by many athletes and fitness gurus that you have a post-workout recovery drink to replenish some lost stuff in your body. You do carbs to protein ratio of 4:1 and drink within 15-45 minutes after the workout. This can be a simple smoothie made in your blender consisting of banana (for quick glycogen absorption), spinach, tofu (for protein), and a little purified water.

Good stuff about HIIT:

  • athletes improve their endurance and performance
  • your resting metabolic rate increases for the next 24 hours after the workout
  • burn fat: “you will be burning up to nine times more fat while sitting on the couch later that night than you would have if you’d spent an hour on the treadmill at a moderate pace” (Jeff Bayer, askmen.com)

To find workouts, you can start with a YouTube search for HIIT. But my absolute favorite is bodyrock.tv.





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