Trying to find ways to vary your workouts and get results?
Think High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
You can do a version of HIIT on a treadmill or any other cardio maching in the gym, with strength exercises, in the pool, pretty much with any exercise you are already doing! HIIT is a combination of work vs. rest intervals. Depending on how fit you are and what you are already doing, the amount of time within each work and rest interval will vary. Your goal is to increase the work intervals and decrease the rest intervals as you progress in your fitness level.
Here are a few ways to add HIIT into your workouts:
For running, swimming, other cardiovasular machines:
- Rest interval: make as short as you can but still allow yourself the time needed to recover
- Work interval: push yourself to an RPE of 7-8 on a 10 point scale (this is working pretty hard, not able to carry on a conversation)
- You can increase your work interval by increasing speed, increasing resistance, or a combination of both
- Start with equal work vs. rest e.g. 30 seconds work vs. 30 seconds rest
- Work your way up to increasing work interval e.g. 1 minute work vs. 30 seconds rest
- Continue to decrease rest and increase work intervals
- Tabatas can be used for running, swimming, cardio as well but are very effective with strength work.
- A Tabata is 8 rounds, 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest using the same exercise e.g. with push-ups you can do as many push-ups as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat 8 times. By using a tabata timer app, you are able to focus on the work and not the timing.
- If you have a smartphone, download an App. Many are free and at most you’re looking at 99 cents for a decent one.
- Be creative! Use air squats, push-ups, burpees, bicep curls, any exercise you normally do. This will be a more challenging variety of the exercise!