HIIT: THE KING OF CARDIO
You’ve probably heard of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and chances are, you’ve already done a HIIT workout before… If you aren’t sure, then you probably haven’t experienced it yet.
HIIT is a fundamental part of our classes at Motion Fitness. It’s incorporated into our schedule throughout the week in multiple classes that are suited to all levels of fitness. Why? Because it’s guaranteed to get you lean, strong, conditioned and mentally tough! Yes, it’s more challenging than your standard cardio…but it gets results fast.
So what is HIIT?
HIIT is defined as periods of work followed by periods of rest. The “work” time will vary, but it’s always short and sharp to keep the intensity up. For example, it could be:
- 20 seconds of burpees + 1-minute rest.
- 45 seconds of kettlebell deadlifts + 15 seconds rest
- 5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 squats + 30 seconds rest
- 30 seconds on the bike fast + 30 seconds slow pace
- Or it could be as simple as running 100m and walking back a few times.
The goal is to get the work intensity up to whatever is maximum effort for you.
Why do we include HIIT at Motion Fitness?
- It saves time. The more intense the training, the shorter the workout. Even 6-10min can be beneficial but we like to work around the 20 – 40 minutes mark for our classes.
- Faster fat loss. HIIT burns MORE calories than steady-state exercise, most of which happens after you stop exercising. The higher the intensity, the more your metabolic rate is raised post workout, which can last from a couple of hours to a day or two. This is sometimes known as the “Afterburn effect”…. Pretty cool right?
- Builds lean muscle. Cardio and muscle growth together? You can with HIIT. This is unique in that it encourages your body to build and preserve lean muscle mass by stimulating anabolic hormones, which in turn burns excess body fat. Just picture the bodies of a sprinter (HIIT) versus a long distance runner (steady state cardio) and the clear difference in muscle mass.
- Less stress on your joints. You spend only a short time loading the joints in HIIT because you’re only working for a short time. Compared to a long 1 hour run, it’s a lot kinder to your skeleton and joints.
- Heart Health. HIIT is key to improving your cardiovascular health. You need to train your heart just as your train every other muscle in your body, and pushing it to its upper limit is actually very beneficial. Get the heart pumping at 85-95% just a few times per week is all you need.
- Develops your “work capacity”. This is your ability to do more work or handle higher intensities in a shorter amount of time. E.g. you get FITTER
- Mental toughness and confidence. Pushing your body through challenging workouts out of your comfort zone is a sure fire way to feel like a total badass.
Always remember, that Intensity is relative. What is easy for one person may be intense for another. A fast jog might be as intense as you can go, while an all-out sprint would be too much. So never compare your workout to the person next to you. So next time your heart is beating out of your chest, your lungs are burning and your legs on fire – smile and enjoy because now you know you’re a fat burning, muscle building machine on the road to a long, fit and healthy life.
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