Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Workout Wednesdays

HITT Training

If you're not doing HIIT training, now is the time to start! HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and I guarantee it will change your body.  In less time you can burn more fat and calories, with less compromise to your muscles (and in some cases even building muscle).

HIIT is especially good for a quick cardio hit after weights.  You don't want to do tons of LISS (Low Intensity Steady State) cardio after weights because you cannibalize your muscles (you know those muscles you just worked so freaking hard to build with all that weight lifting) but a quick 15-20 minute session of HIIT can burn some fat and leave your metabolic rate raised all day (yay, more calorie burning!).

There are lots of different options for HIIT training.  You can really choose any cardio activity and then you go ALL OUT (and I mean all out, it should be hard) for usually 15-30 seconds with a longer recovery period.  Here are couple different variations I use:

1) 4m/30seconds - for 4 minutes I go at a comfortable, recovery pace and then 30 seconds is an all out blitz! I personally like to do this on the treadmill.  The recovery is usually a quick-ish pace of walking, and then the 30 seconds is an all out run (8.5-9.0 on the treadmill) with a hill (incline of 5-7 on the treadmill).  Trust me, this is harder then it sounds!

2) 30s/30s splits - this is the HIIT featured in Jamie Eason's LiveFit program from bodybuilding.com.  Specifically Jaime recommends sprinting for 30 seconds at 8-8.5 on the treadmill and then resting completely (jump to the sides of the treadmill) for 30 seconds.  She recommends 30 minutes of this and believe me, its tough!  You really can incorporate this particular one in a lot of places.  Personally I do this while running around Memorial Park here in Houston by using the Interval Run app on my iPhone which beeps every 30 seconds.

3) 20s/40s splits - I like to do this on the recumbent or upright bike.  Again, pretty straightforward, give it your all for 20 seconds (I like to add speed and resistance) and then take it easy for 40 seconds.

4) Plyo HIIT - you can also go all out on Plyo moves (another Workout Wednesday will be about plyo, until then check out bodybuilding.com for details) for 10-20 seconds and then rest/walk for 30-40 seconds and repeat.

Honestly, you can really do a lot of different combos but the key is really to give it your all when you're in the intensity periods otherwise you're just kind of taking a lazy approach to cardio.  But if you really go balls to the wall in your high intensity period, and then allow for recovery, you'll get amazing fat burning results and minimal muscle deterioration.

Here's a great article about HIIT and it's benefits, as well where LISS can benefit you as well - HIIT versus LISS training

What kind of HIIT do you do? If you're not doing it, when are you going to start?

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