You are an In Demand Woman. Your time is your MOST precious asset right? Let’s make that workout time COUNT and get the most bang for your buck!
There are many types of fitness activities you can do on a regular basis, but the overall picture is that you want your weekly routine to incorporate both strength training (i.e. lifting weights!) and cardio.
And now, the BEST NEWS YET! You no longer have to kill yourself running on the treadmill or stepping up the Stair Master for an hour 3 days per week. WHAT??? Let’s change our mindset about cardio fitness and talk about a more effective workout strategy that will help you increase your caloric burn beyond your workout and take less time.
We are talking about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT is defined as interval training that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods . Let’s break that down even further so you are clear on what “intense anaerobic exercise” means versus “less intense recovery periods”. Your intense intervals should be an all-out effort. If you use the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale 1-10, we are talking about a 9/10 effort. You should feel out of breath, heart racing, you can barely make it through the amount of time. The less intense interval should be a 4-5 on the RPE scale and can even be a complete rest .
There is no exact formula for how long these intervals should be, but the general rule of thumb is 20-90 seconds of high intensity and the rest ratio can be 1:2 or 1:1 as you get stronger. For example, 30 seconds high intensity: 60 seconds rest. The rest is key to success of HIIT because by forcing your body to alternate between extremely different states this will result in excellent cardio conditioning .
To take HIIT a step further, Tabata workouts are a popular form that have proven to be very effective. Tabata training was developed by Japanese scientist Izumi Tabata and this format is a 4-minute workout comprised of 8 rounds of intervals: 20 seconds high intensity, 10 seconds moderate/low intensity effort. Traditional Tabata workouts repeat the same exercise for all 8 rounds (i.e. burpees, mountain climbers, push-ups, etc.). The biggest benefit of Tabata style HIIT is the increase in aerobic and anaerobic system capacities .
If you are still not sold on why you should ditch the mindset of running for an hour on the treadmill, here are some awesome benefits of HIIT :
- Burn more fat
- Build a healthier heart
- Can be done anywhere…no equipment required!
- You lose weight, not muscle
- Increased metabolism
- An awesome challenge
Incorporating HIIT workouts into your life is one more tool in your toolbox to stay healthy and fit that is Simple, Sustainable & Fun. We have even created a Pinterest board for you for all your HIIT inspiration. There are many interval timer apps you can download for free to set yourself up for success! Now that you are armed and ready…get to it girl! NO EXCUSES!