Throughout high school and college, I ran track and field and competed as a long and triple jumper. In college, our off-season program would consist of different sprinting routines (either uphill, 100m, 200m) 2-3x/ week. Those days would be accompanied by a weight lifting session and other other days were either recovery days or days spent completely off. We never ran long distances and our workouts never lasted longer than a half hour. I WAS IN HELLA GOOD SHAPE.
After doing long duration cardio from training for my first figure show (I’ll post about this sometime in the near future) and from half marathon training, I forgot how amazing sprinting felt… Not to mention how efficient and time saving it was.
Recently, I’ve been doing a great deal of research on HIIT and while opinions may be mixed on the duration and intensity level of the sprint, it is without a doubt the most effective cardio workout you can do. WHY? So glad you asked…
1. HIIT allows you do metabolize fat all day
-Similar to the after burn of lifting weights, you will still be burning calories after you complete your workout session.
2. It saves you time
-I am DRIPPING after 20 minutes of HIIT… Walking on the treadmill for a full hour doesn’t even give me that level of sweat satisfaction.
3. You keep more muscle!
-You’ve worked hard for the muscles you have! Excessive cardio can break down muscle tissue due to long duration repetitive movements. HIIT minimizes muscle loss while maximizing fat loss.
If you’re interested in learning more, check out this podcast by Layne Norton, he knows his stuff!
WORKOUT PARTY TIME!
I tell all my clients looking to build muscle and burn fat to do intervals. Although they hate me when we make our way over to the treadmill, they know they get in a good workout every time! Interested in interval training? Download the Interval Timer App (it’s free!). You can set up how many intervals you want to do and the duration of the low/high intensity. ALSO, you can close the app and listen to music and it will beep every time you have to change the intensity! (I am in no way affiliated with this app I just think it’s awesome)
I recommend starting off with a 5:00 walking warmup followed by a HIGH intensity duration of :30 and a LOW intensity duration of 1:00-2:00. It really depends on your fitness level and your speed but :30 should be difficult. Repeat as many times as you see fit. I recommend starting off x6 and increase the intensity or decrease rest each week. Play around with it and see how your body reacts to weekly changes. You can do this on a stationary bike, treadmill, on a track…it’s up to you!
Do you do intervals? If you do, how often do you incorporate them into your weekly workout routine? Any suggestions for workouts? Any interesting articles? If you’ve never tried them, give ’em a go and let me know what you think!
Have a great day!