No time to exercise? But still striving to fit a great workout into your day (especially after lots of driving and sitting and more driving)? It’s high time you tried high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT integrates short bursts of intense exercise (i.e. sprinting, biking, jump rope, burpees, stairs, etc.) with low-intensity recovery periods (i.e. walking) in between for 15-45 minutes. It’s considered one of the most time-efficient ways to exercise because it gives you similar health benefits as when you do twice as much moderate-intensity exercise.
HIIT workouts are super flexible, so simply begin by choosing a set of activities and repeat them 3-5 times through, including brief rest periods in between.
Make sure to keep the rest time between exercises to less than 30 seconds and and limit the recovery between circuits to 60-90 seconds. The idea is to keep your heart rate up as much and as long as possible during your workout. In the beginning, you may have to increase your recovery interval to 2-3x the work intervals. As you increase your strength and stamina, that recovery time will eventually drop to a 1:1 ratio.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Tabata is another “flavor” of HIIT training. Traditional tabata emphasizes 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of recovery or 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of recovery repeated for 4 minutes total (e.g. either 8 rounds or 4 rounds depending on your interval duration). Here are two quick examples: (1) 20 seconds of squat jumps, 10 second rest for 8 sets; (2) 40 seconds of mountain climbers, 20 seconds of rest.
Check out Coach Chloe’s video below for an example of a Tabata workout: