If you are looking to lose some weight and get in shape, chances are you may not know where to begin. Sure, we all know that a healthy diet and exercise are the keys to achieving your fitness goals, but what type of exercise plan works best for you? This is a tough question to answer as much of it depends on the time that you have available, as well as whether you can mae it to the gym on a regular basis. One way to get in a quick workout that delivers the maximum results is through high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
If this is a workout that you have never heard of, let’s take a minute to break it down for you. With high-intensity interval training, you work hard for a short burst followed by a slower rate of pace, after which you repeat until your time is up. You need only commit to about 15 minutes of HIIT per day to see some serious results, simply because this form of workout can continue to burn calories for as long as 24 hours after you perform your last rep. The beauty of high-intensity interval training is that you can perform a variety of different workouts to help keep things fresh and exciting. Read on to see some example of HIIT workouts that you can begin today.
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Using HIIT When Walking or Cycling
Walking has long since proven to be incredibly effective in improving cardio and delivering a healthy body, with the same rules applying to cycling. Both of these exercises can be turned into a high-intensity interval training workout, so let’s take a look at how to do that:
Always start every workout with a warm-up period, with 3-5 minutes the optimum amount of time to commit to. Stretch out those muscles and get properly warmed up before you engage in your workout.
Whether you are walking or cycling, start out by moving at a steady, regular pace. Maintain this pace for 2 minutes. It’s a good idea to add an interval training app to your smartphone, as you can set the times within the app and have it alert you each time you need to switch to the next step.
Once the 2 minutes is up, run or pedal as hard as you can for a minute.
After your big outburst of speed, revert back to your regular pace for another 2 minutes.
Repeat until you are tired or have reached your set workout time.
Don’t forget to finish your workout with a cool-down period that lasts a few minutes.
We are not going to lie here, this can be a tough method of working out to get used to, so perhaps ease into it gently by limiting how much time you exercise each day.
High-Intensity Interval Training with a Kettlebell
If you have a limited amount of time to exercise and cannot get to the gym, there is still a great way to get a fabulous HIIT workout without giving up a lot of time or spending money on fancy equipment. You can easily pick up as kettlebell for about $20 to $30, which will allow you to get in a serious HIIT workout in as little as 12 minutes per day.
There are plenty of kettlebell routines to be found online, many of which are designed to work the entire body in a few short minutes. Let’s take a look at what a 12-minute routine might look like. For this workout, you will need a kettlebell and a small box, and perhaps a workout mat for some of the exercises.
Start out with a warm-up, which will not count as part of your 12-minute routine. After you are loose and ready to go, do the following HIIT intervals, resting 10 seconds between each one:
Interval 1 – Perform as many box jumps as possible for a 30-second period.
Interval 2 – Spread your legs and set the kettlebell between them. Grab the handle and swing the weight upwards before taking it back to the starting position. Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds.
Interval 3 – Get down and perform as many push-ups as you can for 30 seconds.
Interval 4 – Alternating sides, do as many side lunges as possible in 30 seconds.
Interval 5 – 30 seconds of sit-ups.
Interval 6 – Finish off the cycle with as many box steps as you can manage for 30 seconds, holding the kettlebell for some extra weight resistance.
These 6 intervals should be performed 3 times, after which you should have a cool down period of a couple of minutes. This is just one of the many high-intensity interval training workouts you can do at home, so look for more routines online and mix and match to suit your specific needs. For example, you may want to focus on abs, so look for a workout that works your core.
High-Intensity Interval Training at the Gym
If you feel that you would be better served by working out at the gym, then take the time to do a little bit of due diligence before you sign up. Many gyms are now well aware of the power and effectiveness of high-intensity interval training, which is why lots of them now have dedicated workout areas designed for that very purpose.
Here you can find such things as weighted sleds for pushing on a FieldTurf track, giant tractor tires for flipping and an assortment of sledgehammers, sandbags and battle ropes.
Some will have 12-minute ab areas, while others will have a whole room set up with equipment designed to be used as a HIIT cycle. These areas often work on a red light/green light set-up that is specifically designed to guide you through each step of the cycle. Go hard on green, and box step or walk in place on red.
HIIT workouts are great for the entire body, as well as being excellent in helping you improve your cardio. They may be short, but they are hard work. The good news here though is that you can see amazing results using high-intensity interval training.