If you have been working out for awhile and your workout routine has gotten a bit rusty or if it has not giving you the push you need or maybe it stopped working for your fitness goals or simply you are ready for a change, than you are in the right place! I am about to tell you that you can change any workout and make it a HIIT workout.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for “High Intensity Interval Training” and it is actually not a new concept and has been around for awhile. The concept is quite simple, you need to determine a set time period and within that time, you need to decide how long you will increase the intensity of your workout and how long is your recovery, low intensity period, will be. HIIT workouts took several forms and got several new names because of the way the high intensity and low intensity ratio is dedicated. For example we may have heard Tabata: where the workout is 20 seconds of high intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest period.
Why am I mentioning HIIT?
Because I am loving the results I am seeing and not only on my waist line but the time it saves me and I am all about productivity. After teaching several years of fitness classes; I started working out on my own for about 2.5 years now. Mostly at-home, outdoors on the weekends, elliptical, treadmill, and strength training and can I just say that I love it. But when I started using the elliptical, I used to exercise for about 45 minutes. After showering and getting ready it was easily a 1.5 hours of my day that needed to be dedicated to working out. If you have the time, it is great and yes, you can make the time, but for me and my lifestyle, it was getting to be a little too much into my already busy schedule. What do I do : Modify. It takes time and you need to find the right combination for you but I will tell you this; you will love your newly found freedom and falling in love with your work outs all over again! Here is my progress:
- Modification Phase #1: Since I needed to change a few things, at first I started to play with the resistance but also got my myself hand and leg weights and it really helps sculp those calfs, legs, and arms! and reduced my workout down to 30 minutes instead of 45. At this point I was listening to my favorite podcasts, which is an essential for me every time I workout, at 1.5 speed.
- Modification Phase #2: Making it a HIIT version. Currently I am on the elliptical for 20 minutes; first 4 minutes warm-up; followed by 20 seconds high intensity at the top of the minute and 40 seconds rest for 10-11 minutes; followed by 4-5 minutes cool-down. I sweat just as much as I used to when I was on the elliptical for 45 minutes but yet I saved 25 minutes; still feeling great after an amazing HIIT workout that pushes me! At this point I am listening to my podcasts in 2x the speed and loving the speed learning!
- Modification Phase #3: This phase I call continuous learning. I am thinking about switching my 15-16 minute interval to TABATA and see what it does for me. I cannot listen to my podcasts any faster than 2x the speed I have but I also started adding 5 minute strength training, squats incorporated into my day and I love the mid-day, late afternoon healthy lifestyle feeling it gives me. I also started playing with the HITT version of my workout, where instead of 20 seconds high intensity, there are days I do 25-30 seconds with a 25-30seconds low intensity.
What is next for you?
Can anybody go through this modification phases no matter what workout routine they have? Absolutely. I don’t care if you are running outdoors, jumping rope, zumba (yes, you can have an intense song followed by a slow one for 20 minutes), or whatever.
What will be your next challenge? Be productive and learn to love HIIT workout, it is your friend! Exercise Lean, not Mean!