With all the shopping, parties and get-togethers, your holiday schedule is jam-packed and finding time to get your workouts in can be challenging. Why not get the most bang-for-your-buck with a HIIT workout? HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, utilizes cycles of high-intensity followed by low-intensity and can be accomplished using resistance exercises or cardiovascular exercises. So why choose HIIT over other types of exercise?
Some guidelines for effective HIIT training:
· Work-to-rest ratio (1:3 to 2:1) – The more conditioned and experienced you are, the shorter the rest duration can be. Beginners should start with a rest ratio 3x longer than the work interval. For example, if you choose 30 seconds as the work interval, your rest interval will be 90 seconds, making each cycle 2 minutes.
· Duration & Frequency – Aim for 10-30 minutes, with the longer duration reserved for the more experienced exerciser. Incorporate this type of workout 2-3 times per week and you will easily maintain your gains made in the gym. Add it to your existing routine and you could even shed the fat over the holidays!
· Intensity & RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion) – the low intensity interval should feel like a 3 or 4/10, where 10 is all out effort; the high intensity interval should feel like 10/10 effort. This is not for the faint of heart – it will be both physically as well as mentally challenging, but remember: it will be over very soon!
· Pre-workout nutrition – Make sure to eat a small snack 1 hour before your workout consisting of easily digestible carbohydrates (eg fruit) or 3 hours before have a balanced (but not stuffing) meal. Eating too much, too close to this workout is likely to lead to vomiting, and not eating anything can lead to the same result.
· RPM (Rotations per minute) – if you are using a stationary/spin bike for HIIT, aim to have your cadence or RPM at 100+ during the high intensity phase with as heavy resistance as you can handle.
Here are 2 of my favorite HIIT workouts. I love these workouts because you need minimal equipment (bike, running shoes, and workout clothes) and minimal time. If you don’t have access to a stationary bike, you can also try Workout #1 by sprinting outdoors on a flat surface (no RPM here, just pay attention to your RPE). For optimal results, incorporate one of each per week, and use the printable workout sheet below to track your progress.
Workout #1: Stationary/Spin Bike HIIT
Workout: 10 minutes - 5 cycles of:
- 30 seconds at 10 RPE and 100+ RPM
- 90 seconds at 3 RPE and 60+ RPM
TOTAL TIME: 30 minutes
Workout #2: Tabata HIIT
TOTAL TIME: 28 minutes
Check out the following videos for correct technique and execution of each exercise:
1. Jump squats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVaEhXotL7M
2. Push-ups: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/PectoralSternal/BWPushup.html
3. Burpees: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6ySAcwkysg
4. Reverse crunch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAyTBB4lm3I
5. Jump alternating lunges: http://www.exrx.net/Plyometrics/SplitJump.html
6. Mountain climbers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmwgirgXLYM
7. V sit-ups: http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/RectusAbdominis/WtVUp.html
8. Spiderman plank: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvAm7Gw0klA
Keep it fit and happy HIITing,