High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been around for a long time. Basically it means that during your aerobic workout you alternate short periods of going as fast as you can with slightly longer periods of going at a moderate pace. You repeat this pattern for the duration of your workout.
HIIT has the potential to improve your cardio vascular fitness faster and more efficiently than regular workouts at a steady pace. You will see and feel improvements more quickly with the added benefit of a shorter workout…since you’re working at a higher intensity.
If you’re pressed for time and want to get the most out of your investment in your workout and your fitness level, HIIT is a great option. It’s important to start slowly and build up once your body has gotten used to the added intensity. Aalways check with your doctor before starting or increasing any fitness program.
Be patient and kind to yourself. Build up slowly. You might like to start with one HIIT workout a week and add more as you feel ready until all of your cardio workouts are HIIT enabled! The program below can be applied to whatever aerobic activity you like best: walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, rowing, elliptical trainer….
This program is for a 30 minute workout. For a longer or shorter workout, adjust the number of intervals up or down. Always warm up & cool down.
Step 1: warm up at an easy pace for 5 – 10 minutes, until your muscles feel warm and loose and you may have a light sweat.
Step 2: increase the pace to go as fast as you can for 10 Seconds. This is the high intensity interval!
Step 3: Ease back to a comfortable pace to do an active recovery for 30 seconds.
Step 4: Repeat steps 2 & 3 for 10 – 20 minutes.
Step 5: Cool down at an easy pace for 5 – 10 minutes, until your heart rate has returned to normal and you can carry on a conversation.
Each week, increase the length of the high intensity interval by 5 seconds, until you are doing 30 second high intensity intervals with 30 second active recovery periods. To maintain a 30 minute workout, reduce the overall number of intervals. If you feel you’re ready, you can further increase the intensity of your workout until both the fast interval and the recovery interval are 1 minute in duration. Listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
Check out my past blog posts on this subject and any of the other fitness and personal training subjects I’ve posted on. Feel free to get in touch with me if you’d like to one-on-one fitness coaching.