First of all, It does a hell of a job burning fat because it takes advantage of the “afterburn” effect, when our bodies scramble to repay the oxygen debt it incurred during really hard work.
To reap the benefits of high intensity workouts you need to know a few things:-Give a really hard effort. Then be willing to really rest when it’s time to rest.
-If you’re doing a 45 minute high intensity interval workout that you’re not actually doing high intensity work. You’re doing cardio, and that’s fine too. But we’re working different energy systems and producing different training effects. I want everyone to know exactly what they’re getting when they choose what to do.
It’s also helpful for “greasing the groove” of movement when you do sessions like metabolic conditioning, which use lighter loads of strength moves to produce that good stuff I’ve been talking about.
Here’s my one caveat to promoting high intensity work: I have nothing against training this way, only in how it gets used.
Yes, sometimes you’ll be pooped after your workout and it can be fine. Sometimes you’ll leave feeling glowy and energized. I’m for working hard – but only to accomplish what I think you want too: to improve.
It can feel exhilarating to come away feeling like we just got thoroughly worked – but it’s not always an indication that we made ourselves better.
And in reality, if you’re so wiped out after every session that you can hardly walk around for the rest of the day, you likely are overdoing it. Chase better, not tired.
Precisely because these workouts are so taxing, you shouldn’t be doing them all the time. 1-2 times per week is plenty and will allow your body time to both reap the benefits and recover.
So are we gonna work out or what?
Here are 3 ways out of many that I like to program high intensity training for myself and my clients.
Sprinting is great for so many reasons. It will greatly enhance your power in your legs. It can be done just about anywhere; you can smoke your legs and glutes in under 10 minutes; and it’s really fun to go so fast you can pretend you’re running from the law.
Hill sprints also help build more muscular, powerful legs and glutes. They give you tons of bang for your buck.
I like to keep the time increment very, very short and just go as fast as I can, then recover fully.
Where though and how do I do it?
Treadmills, hills, your own street… wherever you choose, you’ll crank your heart rate up like crazy and make you feel and perform more like an athlete. Try this sprinting workout – it works well for seasoned sprinters and new kids too.
Instructions: Find a steep hill. Warm up a bit first. I really like this one for beginners because it’s more intuitive than timed intervals. Instead of counting seconds or distance, you’re going to go as hard as you can until you feel that dramatic slow down course through your body. If you’re someone who really wants a time to shoot for, try around 8-10 seconds as your work goal at first. 1. Look around you. How far up the hill are you? I usually do these on a steep hill in a nearby neighborhood.2. Choose a landmark near where you stopped. Now walk back down the hill, catch your breath. You’ll be resting for a minute or two total.
3. This is where it becomes challenging. You’ll do this anywhere from 8-10 times, and by around set 5 to 6 it’ll be tougher to push yourself.
4. Keep at it. This part of sprinting trains our mental toughness and we can take that with us into not only workouts but life.
So you want to go to the gym? Try a metabolic conditioning workout to get some extra muscle building work in while torching fat. Here’s a quick and dirty one to take on:
The Complex (a Metcon)
Instructions: grab a bar (or dumbbells, if you prefer). Now, without stopping between movements, you’re going to complete everything in the set for the indicated reps. You’ll rest for 2 minutes, and then do it again, each time working the number of reps listed. Notice how the reps go down each set? You’ll need that to happen as you progress through the workout.
Front squat x 8
Overhead Press x 8
Single Leg Deadlift x 8/side
Bent over row x 8
No equipment? No space? No problem. I gotchoo, boo. Give this one a go:
The Do-Anywhere HIIT
This high intensity interval workout is easy to remember, simple to learn, and can be done just about anywhere.
Instructions: set a timer for 30 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. Alternate between these 2 movements. for a total of between 6 and 8 rounds – 3-4 for each movement.
Squats (bodyweight or add load for a goblet squat if you have it)
What’s your favorite way to HIIT it? Leave a comment and share!