One of the reasons many people don’t manage to stick to their exercise routines is the length of time it takes to get fit and burn enough calories to make a difference to their overall health and appearance. Not everyone has the extra hour a day three days a week to spend on the treadmill or exerting themselves in an energetic outdoor activity.
Today’s lifestyle means that time is limited, and for those who only have 20 minutes to spare instead of a full hour, it may seem futile to exercise for such a short period of time. Until now! High intensity interval training workouts provide a way for people to get fitter and slimmer in a shorter period of time.
Although many people may believe that the longer they spend doing exercise, the fitter they will become and the more calories they will burn, the truth is: spending a shorter period of time at higher exertion will result in a higher level of fitness and far more calories burned. The key to interval training is making sure that the level of exertion is around 90% of the maximum.
What Is High Intensity Interval Training?
HIIT workouts consist of short spurts of near maximum exertion, interrupted by short periods of low exertion recovery. This pattern is then repeated several times. The idea is to spend less time exercising, but increasing the effort to near the limit so that the exertion within that short period of time is as high as it would be over the course of a longer workout.
For those who are unfit, or are unused to exerting themselves to a high level it is important to start out carefully and gently. Although it is a much shorter workout, HIIT is far more taxing on the body than longer cardio workouts.
Interval Training Workout For Beginners
A good way for beginners to start would be to spend 30 seconds doing a high intensity activity such as sprinting, rowing or cycling – to around 90% of their maximum effort followed by 30 seconds of recovery during which they keep moving, but at a much lower intensity. This pattern should be repeated 5 times, and this number should be increased over time up to 10 repetitions.
High Intensity Interval Training Workout For Intermediates
For those who are already at a level of fitness that allows them to workout at high intensity for 30 second intervals repeated 10 times, it is time to increase the interval to 1 minute. This means high intensity activity to near maximum for one minute, followed by one minute of low intensity recovery – again, repeated 10 times.
Advanced Interval Training
The individual can increase the amount of activity time and the number of repetitions as their fitness increases. In addition to this, adding different activities – mixing sprinting with cycling, rowing, and other high intensity activities will keep the body challenged and give a more rounded workout.
High intensity interval training workouts allow those who wish to become fitter or lose more weight but do not have much time, to achieve their goals in a much shorter time period. Effective HIIT workouts can be done in as little as 10 minutes as long as the intensity is high enough – with exceptional results.