Let’s HIIT it.
There are so many different styles of workouts, and the list is constantly evolving and growing. It is important to try different styles of training to discover what you like best. Honestly, if you are enjoying your exercise style, you’re most likely to stick with it. When we stick with an exercise routine, we are most successful long term.
One of the newer styles that has gained popularity the last few years is HIIT. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Back in 1996, Dr. Izumi Tabata was researching the best exercise program for Japanese speed skaters. In addition to speed skaters, cyclists and runners achieved success early on in the program development. Dr Tabata created the Tabata timer, that is 20 seconds of high intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 repetitions.
HIIT in the Main Stream
HIIT has seen some cross over success into mainstream weight loss groups due to its ability to maximize effects in least time. The timer is an important component, as Dr Tabata studied how long one could maintain the high intensity exercise. He also determined how much time one needed to recover before beginning again. Finally, he learned how many rounds were required to maximize the body’s capacity to see results. The other important part is the intensity level of the exercise.
Why high intensity?
You can do any exercise with a “Tabata timer” and feel like you have had a pretty good workout. If you’re looking to maximize your weight loss or your overall speed, you must make sure it is a high-intensity exercise. The easiest high intensity to come up with are the high impact exercises. Jumping or running or slamming equipment will all produce the high heart rate desired. It can be quite taxing to do all high-impact exercises for a workout, though. Kettlebell swings are an excellent example of a low-impact, high-intensity exercise. Full range of motion, as well as speed squats, are also low impact, high intensity. Push-ups can also fall under this category when done properly. I have found adding weight in an overhead motion to a multi-joint, lower body exercise produces the low impact, high intensity heart rate as well. This includes exercises like wall balls and thrusters.
If we are effectively completing a HIIT workout, we are not doing this style more than 1-3 times a week. Our body needs more time to recover and be ready to give full effort. That doesn’t mean you can’t do another style of even timer-based workouts on the other days.