High intensity interval training can be amazingly effective for burning fat and dropping pounds! Thanks to the alternating intensities of the workouts, you can get in excellent shape with far less time spent on the workout every day. But knowing how to HIIT it the right way can be a challenge. Not only is HIIT quite difficult, but it’s not something everyone can do at first. It takes time and effort to build your way up to the resistance level needed to HIIT it hard for the full 20 minutes. Here’s how you can HIIT it the right way:
Start Out With Less
At the beginning, you will be in no shape to run 30 seconds and sprint 30 seconds, so don’t try. Instead, start out slow, with a walk. Walk for 50 seconds, then run at full speed for 10 seconds. This high intensity interval is very short, but it will get your heart pumping and your muscles accustomed to burning serious energy. Within two or three weeks, you’ll be ready to kick it up a notch.
Take a Break After a Few Weeks
Once you’ve been doing HIIT training for three weeks, take a break and return to your regular jogging or cycling program. Just for one week, go back to normal workout. It will give your body and mind a break, and will prepare you to HIIT it hard the following week.
Add More Training and Less Rest
Now that you’re back at HIIT training (after a week of rest), it’s time to dial up the intensity of the workout. Instead of doing just 10 seconds per interval, try upping the intervals to 15 or 20 seconds. Keep your rest period at 60 seconds, but add more HIIT into the mix. Once you pass that first or second week of doing 20 seconds of high intensity, start cutting your rest time. By the time you reach the 8-week mark, you should be doing about 20 seconds of high intensity and no more than 30 or 40 seconds of rest. With just 15 or 20 minutes of this every day, you’ll be getting in great shape!
Give Yourself Breaks
You don’t NEED to do HIIT training more than two or three times a week. If you push yourself too hard, you don’t give your body the chance to recover from the previous training sessions. You shouldn’t try to do HIIT workouts every day, especially not at first. Once you develop a bit more stamina and endurance you can increase the workout, but at the beginning, give yourself breaks. At first, you should stick with just two HIIT sessions per week, but by the time you’re a month into your HIIT training, you can do three per week. Your body needs those 48 hours of rest to repair your muscles and replenish your energy!
Mix it Up
If you stick with ONLY HIIT training sessions on the treadmill, stationary cycle, or elliptical machine, you’re going to grow tired of your workout pretty quickly. Boredom is the worst enemy of fitness, so it’s important that you mix things up in order to stay faithful. Plus, doing HIIT training on multiple cardio machines will help you to develop more well-rounded lower body strength. For example, if you spend all of your time on the treadmill, you’ll miss out on the benefits of cycling. Or, if you do all of your HIIT work on the elliptical machine, you’ll be out of shape when it comes time to run or cycle. For this reason, it’s important to keep mixing things up!