Unless you’re living under a relatively large rock, you’ve heard all the buzz about interval training – or its catchy acronym, HIIT (which stands for high-intensity interval training). It’s a simple enough concept – you alternate periods of high intensity with periods of low intensity or rest, and you get stronger and fitter doing so. But does it work?
Besides my anecdotal evidence (I train clients using HIIT intervals every single day), there is a great deal of scientific evidence to support the fact that interval training burns more fat than steady-state training – which, by the way, is what you’re doing if you’re hopping on the elliptical for 45 minutes, or sitting down on a stationary bike to read a magazine, or strolling down the treadmill belt at a consistent 3.0 speed.
Performance-wise, interval training also supersedes steady-state training in cardiovascular benefits. Main point: you will get fitter faster if you do intervals – which take less time than steady-state anyway, so it’s truly a win-win.
Even if I’ve convinced you that HIIT is the way, you might be wondering what exactly a HIIT workout looks like in “real life.” Well worry not, readers – I’ve got THREE ideas for you (one with weights/equipment, one without, one on the treadmill) so you can take these HIIT workouts to the bank – and watch the fat loss follow!
HIIT ME UP: WEIGHTS EDITION
Start with 1 minute jump rope to warm up, then:
- 30 seconds push-ups / 30 seconds bench press / 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds triceps dips / 30 seconds headbangers / 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds Smith squats / 30 seconds weighted squats / 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds Smith lunges / 30 seconds step-ups w/weights / 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds bicycle crunches / 30 seconds plank / 30 seconds rest
Jump rope 1 minute to “close out” the set, then repeat 2X, ending with one last jump rope minute.
HIIT ME UP: EQUIPMENT-FREE
Start with 1 minute jumping jacks to warm up, then:
- 30 seconds mountain climbers / 20 seconds push-ups / 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds plank jacks / 20 seconds triceps dips / 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds squat jumps / 20 seconds lunge jumps / 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds plank-ups / 20 seconds plank knees-to-elbows / 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds leg drops / 20 seconds V-ups / 30 seconds rest
Jumping jacks 30 seconds to “close out” the set, then repeat 2X, ending with one last full minute jumping jacks.
HIIT ME UP: TREADMILL
Start with 2 minutes walking at 3.0mph, 0% incline, then:
- 1 minute 4.0mph / 30 seconds 6.0mph – repeat 3X
- 1 minute 3.5mph / 45 seconds 6.5mph – repeat 2X
- 1 minute 3.0mph / 1 minute 7.0mph – complete once, then:
- 2 minutes 3.0mph @ 9% incline / 1 minute 3.0mph @ 1% incline
- 1.5 minutes 3.5mph @ 7% incline / 45 seconds 3.5mph @ 1% incline
- 1 minute 4.0mph @ 5% incline / 30 seconds 4.0mph @ 1% incline
- 1 minute MAX RUN (your choice!) / 1 minute 3.0mph @ 0% incline
- 1 minute MAX HILL (your choice!) @ 3.5mph / 2 minutes cooldown @ 2.5mph, 0% incline
Let me know if you try these workouts – and what you thought!