You probably know that your cardiovascular workouts need to be intense and that interval training provides a higher metabolic response than traditional cardio workouts. This is not new research and most fitness magazines, articles and programs will advocate some type of interval training.
Interval training burns more calories per minute of work and creates a higher metabolic disturbance that carries over to what can be described as the “after burn,” the elevated calorie burn that can last up to 36 hours post-workout.
That said, the key to interval training is intensity. The mistake that a lot of women make is that their interval training is not intense enough to get the best benefit. The research supporting HIIT (high intensity interval training) is based on an individual working at an all-out effort for about 30 seconds and then recovering completely (about 3 minutes) before beginning another all-out effort.
If you are truly working at an all-out effort, you cannot keep at it for 45 or 60 minutes. Your HIIT sessions should be no longer than 20 minutes.
Can you do 30-60 minutes of work? Most definitely, but this is not the most optimal form of HIIT. I am not saying that longer cardio training with less intense intervals is bad, all I want to point out in this article is that you can get a high metabolic disturbance (a.k.a. burning a lot of calories and boosting your metabolism) with a very short amount of time. The difference between the two is the intensity, not the duration.
So how do you do it?
30 seconds of work followed by 2-3 minutes of complete recovery for 6 – 8 sets.
That 30 seconds needs to be about 95% maximum effort. Based on that prescription, if you are doing this, you need to be very well conditioned. If you are just starting out, start slower (about 75% of maximum effort) and work your way up. As you get stronger and better conditioned, you can work up to the faster bursts with longer rest.
How do you get this work done? The original studies were based on sprints,:30 on followed by 3:00 rest for 6 – 8 rounds.
Here are some other options. Once you complete that 30 seconds of work, you should need that 2 – 3 minutes of rest and recovery before you can move on to the next round.
Pick any of the exercises below and try this style of training:
Mix up your HIIT training from week to week, using different implements or exercises. Give this :30/3:00 x 6 – 8 workout a try and post below how it went for you.