What if you could work out for 15 minutes and get more fat-burning benefit than spending an hour trudging away on the treadmill or stationary bike?
It’s often referred to as “HIIT” for short, and it is an awesome way for busy individuals and couples to get a fantastic workout with a minimal time commitment.
How Do You Do a HIIT Workout?
As the name implies, this method is based on “high intensity” periods of exercise broken up into “intervals” that switch back and forth with rest periods.
So, you do a given move as hard as you can for a short time, then you do a period of “active rest” to get your breathing and heart rate under control, and then you go back to the high-intensity move. Rinse and repeat.
Here’s a simple example of a great HIIT workout:
Warm-up with a 5-minute brisk walk
Sprint for 30 seconds
Walk for 90 seconds
Sprint for 30 seconds
Walk for 90 seconds
Repeat for the desired length of the total workout, then cool-down and stretch briefly
What Types of Exercises Will Work for a HIIT Session?
Aside from taking such a short time to complete, one of the best things about a HIIT workout is the built-in flexibility. You can take almost any exercise and make it into a HIIT workout.
Here are just a few ideas to consider:
- Jumping jacks
- Jumping rope
- Running stairs
- Broad jumps
- Hill runs
- Cycling (outside or on a stationary bike)
- Almost any other exercise
As you can see, many of these workouts can easily be done anywhere. That means you can do them at home before you leave for work in the morning, at the park over lunch, or even in a hotel room while traveling.
How Long Should a HIIT Workout Last?
The length of the work and rest intervals can vary to meet your fitness level and the specific activity that you’re using for your HIIT workout. Typically, the high-intensity work intervals will be between 30-60 seconds and the rest intervals will be between 30-120 seconds.
The ratio between work/rest will determine (in part) how difficult the workout is for you. For beginners, 30 seconds of work followed by 90 seconds of recovery may be best. An intermediate workout may use a 30-60 ratio, while a more advanced routine may utilize even amounts of work and rest (such as 30-30 or even 60-60).
Excluding a brief warm-up and cool-down period, a HIIT workout should take a total of 12-20 minutes depending again on your fitness level and the specific activity you are doing for a given workout.
If you’re still stuck in the mindset that the best way to burn calories and lose fat is by spending hours doing steady-state cardio (walking, treadmill, cycling, etc. at an even pace), then you may be tempted to go longer.
However, if you are physically able to continue a HIIT session for longer than 20 minutes, you are not going hard enough during the work intervals.
In fact, that’s a great way to gauge your intensity and effort. At the end of each work interval, you should need the rest interval. And after 12-20 minutes, you should be completely spent.
Does HIIT Really Get Results?
It may seem strange to think that a workout can actually be effective when you are only training for 15 minutes. However, I can tell you from lots of research, extensive personal experience, and results from many couples that we’ve worked with that HIIT is super effective.
The key to HIIT’s effectiveness at shedding fat is not what happens during the workout. In fact, only a small portion of the total calories are burned during those 15-20 minutes.
The magic of HIIT is its effect on your metabolism. If you complete a session with proper intensity, you can expect your body’s metabolism to stay elevated for up to 24 hours!
Unlike traditional steady-state cardio where you stop burning extra calories as soon as you step off the treadmill, periodic High Intensity Interval Training workouts can literally make your body a fat-burning furnace.
How Often Should I Complete HIIT Workouts?
As great as it is, you should not use HIIT exclusively in your exercise schedule. For one thing, your body needs time to recover between these intense workouts, so HIIT should not be done on consecutive days.
Also, for all of it’s benefits to your metabolism and cardiovascular system, High Intensity Interval Training doesn’t cover all of your exercise needs. You still need to work on your strength, flexibility and stamina so that you can look and feel your best.
For beginners, we recommend one HIIT session per week, while those who are more advanced can benefit from up to three HIIT workouts each week (provided they “hit” different muscle groups each time).
It’s important to utilize HIIT appropriately as part of an overall fitness strategy.
Where Can I Learn More & Get Specific Workouts?
If you would like to learn more and get a specific, video-based fitness system that will get you incredible results in only 15-30 minutes per workout, I encourage you to go check out our exclusive Thrive90 Fitness program.
Now, take this information and go take action. Give yourself a HIIT to the gut…and like it!