For those of you who are new to the various methods of cardio training, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. There is a great debate as to its benefits or lack thereof yet I can personally attest to the amazing changes I’ve witnessed in my physique and energy levels by regularly partaking in this interval technique. The concept is quite simple, HIIT involves mixing frequent bouts of high energy cardio with slower, easier activity for recovery. Researchers have found that people who engage in HIIT burn more calories in less time as compared to those who exercise at a moderate steady pace. This type of training has been proven to burn fat more efficiently…something we can all use with the holidays fast approaching. Remember, when you exercise with great intensity your body burns fat both during and after your workout. In addition, “HIIT it” and your heart will thank you because high-intensity intervals can greatly improve cardiovascular health. Just be sure to tailor the workout to your fitness level. Keep in mind that this type of interval training isn’t just for runners; HIIT can be done on a treadmill, track, bike, elliptical or even while jumping rope. The work interval should be strenuous – whereas you may be able to talk a bit during this period but you certainly cannot sing. The slower interval should also be challenging while still allowing you to catch your breath and recover. Your intervals should last anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes. For optimal results your total HIIT session should fall within the 25 – 45 minute range for beginners. High intensity training can be strenuous on the body therefore it is best to engage 2-3 times per week allowing yourself a full 48 hours rest in between HIIT sessions. You can (and should) still workout during this time but do so with lower intensity to avoid overtraining. The great thing about this interval training method is that it is ever-changing therefore you won’t get bored with your workout and the time spent in the gym or at the track will seem to go much more quickly. Mix it up with high intensity interval training and have some fun with your cardio sessions! Here is an example of HIIT on the treadmill for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels:
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