A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I Love Circuits! (Why HIIT is AWESOME.)

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I have written before about how I used to do 2 hours of cardio a day. You probably think all that exercise made me so lean, fit, and muscular... a super human!!!

WRONG!

Logging a couple hours a day on the road made me tired, hungry, and anxious. It made me fat, too! I was not overweight, but my body was clinging to my fat, breaking down muscle, and killing my metabolism.

I knew I had to stop the madness, and somehow I did. I managed to get my workouts down to an hour and fifteen minutes a day. It was still too much cardio, but I at least I had made some progress!

Would you believe it if I told you these days I am fine if some of my cardio workouts only take me 40-45 mintutes? That's because when you work out at such a high intensity, there is no need to go longer. No more taxing my body with hours of running on a daily basis. I have finally discovered what athletes have been doing for years- High-Intensity Interval Training! (HIIT)

What is HIIT?


HIIT is any activity in which you alternate bursts of high intensity activity with short periods of less intense activity- or even rest.

Examples:

running sprints
spinning sprints
hill repeats
circuits
Tabatas

Why is HIIT so awesome?


There are so many reasons HIIT is so effective! It takes less time, burns more fat, and revs up your metabolism even beyond your workout. Also, you can design your intervals so you're doing something you actually enjoy. It doesn't have to be running.

Check out this article: 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training by Charlotte Andersen.

(And her awesome blog: The Great Fitness Experiment)



How do I incorporate HIIT into my training?


These days, my HIIT is either speed work on the road or circuits in my backyard. My speedwork is pretty simple- 1 mi warmup, 5 mi alternating .2 miles sprinting and .2 miles jogging, 1 mile cooldown. The circuits are more for when I'm feeling a little ADD and need to change things up...

Example of backyard circuits:

Circuit 1

pushups
jump rope
wall sit

Circuit 2

burpees
walking lunges
plank

Circuit 3

high knees
jump squat/lunge
jumping jacks

Circuit 4

mountain climbers
side planks
ski jumps


I repeat each circuit 3-4 times without a break, but then take 1-2 minutes rest before beginning the next circuit. I feel like this is a warm up that will prepare me for when I finally decide to try a true Tabatas workout. (Don't worry, I'll blog about the horror of horrors when that happens!)

How do you incorporate HIIT into your training? Do you have any tips on how I could improve the way I do HIIT?

2 comments:

  1. Tabatas are super fun. Don't be scared of them. They make the workout FLY by.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete