If you have noticed by now, I am a strong advocate for cardio, cardio, cardio! Okay, I may be a bit biased being that running is my hobby and passion and I run marathons for fun, but besides my personal reasons for making cardio a huge part of my workout regim, it has been proven that cardio can be the most effective exercise for weight loss. When combined with a healthy and clean diet, cardio can amp up your bodies calorie burn quicker then most other workouts. However, the best cardio calorie burn does not come from hours at the same pace on the treadmill; it comes from HIIT! HIIT, high intensity interval training, is a form of cardio that takes short periods of intense anaerobic exercise and combines them with less intense recovery periods. HIIT workouts are typically about 20 minutes long which, may not sound like long, but halfway through the workout I promise you that you will feel the BURN!
Now, my recommending this form of cardio may seem contradictory to my being so involved in long distance running. All in all, I am the first to admit that distance running is not for everyone. Additionally, many distance runners are not able to maintain their goal weights because they are not getting a high enough calorie burn and are instead focusing on just moving for hours on end. If you are a distance runner like me, there is absolutely a balance in being able to incorporate these HIIT workouts with your long distance plans. For a distance runner, it is of course crucial to be able to maintain your endurance for long periods of time, but you also want to throw in some of these high intense intervals to keep your calorie burn up, and allow your body to adapt to faster speeds; I do these types of workouts about 1-2x per week. Many times, I just add this on top of my already planned mileage. However, if you are not training for distance, just doing one or two of these HIIT workouts can be sufficient to almost the same amount of calorie burn that I would get from running a few miles at a continued and steady pace.
Below are six of my HIIT workouts I like to incorporate into my fitness plans. These can be intense, but start slow and you will be able to soon work your way up. If needed, feel free to adjust the speed and/or incline to meet your current abilities. Just keep in mind that these workouts are supposed to be a challenge so don’t go too easy on yourself – push through the pain to get the results! Take a quick look at this chart to get an idea of what your body should be feeling throughout each of these workouts.
**EPOC means excess post exercise oxygen consumption. It is the measurable increased rate of oxygen intake following an intense activity such as HIIT, intended to erase your bodies ‘oxygen debt.’
The Fitness Fashionista HIIT Workouts:
Start with the first workout and work your way down as your speed and endurance build. Note, these can be done on a treadmill, elliptical or stationary bike. As long as you are moving fast, you will get the burn.
Good luck with your HIIT workouts!To being fit and fashionable, Christyn