Good afternoon, peeps!
I hope you’re all having a lovely start to the weekend. Today I’m writing to you from the germ-infested comfort of my own bed because I’ve been sick all day so please bear with me on this one. My sickly body can only come up with so much! Anyways, I’ve been on a huge HIIT kick lately and I want to share my love for it with the world so I’m coming to you guys! If you don’t know what HIIT is, give me a beat and I’ll take a second to break it down for you.
HIIT means ‘high intensity interval training’ and it’s any activity where you have intervals of short duration, high intensity work mixed with low intensity recovery periods. Simply put, you workout as hard as you can, take a moment of brief rest, and then workout really hard again. You can do HIIT with practically any exercise, and it’s great for increasing your heart rate, burning lots of calories, and improving your steady-state endurance. It’s also great for training your body to produce and use energy from your anaerobic energy system. What’s your anaerobic energy system? I’m glad you asked!
Your anaerobic energy system (say it with me) is the system in your body that produces energy without sufficient oxygen. This is super important to consider when you’re doing HIIT exercises because your muscles are going so HAM that the oxygen you breath in isn’t enough for them to sustain themselves, which is why HIIT intervals are so short. If we made them long, then we’d probably pass out or feel really light headed which can lead to injury or just a bad case of the weeble wobbles. Listen to your body when you’re doing HIIT. If you feel light headed or dizzy at any point during your workout, stop and take a seat. Find a cool area, drink plenty of water, and be sure to have a little carb and protein-dense snack on hand to help you recover. (Cliff bars are my fave!)
TL;DR it’s SCIENCE! And it’s awesome and you probably should’ve read what I wrote.
A good starting point for HIIT is a 1:2 ratio, meaning that you exercise at a high-intensity for ‘x’ amount of time and then rest for double that time in-between. Aim to complete HIIT twice a week, three times MAX when you’re starting to avoid injury and allow your muscles the proper recovery time they need. They deserve love, too!
Here are a few of my favorite HIIT exercises that you can try at home or in the gym. I can almost promise that you’ll love them, but if you don’t, you didn’t hear any of this from me.
LET’S HIIT THIS!
Burpees: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Move into a squat, placing your hands between your feet and shifting your weight into your palms. Push your feet back into a plank position. Hold for 1 second. Jump your feet forward into original squat position. Explosively jump upward with arms extended above your head. Repeat.
30 seconds x 3 sets
Star Jumps: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and arms to your side. Move into a squatting position, bringing your palms together at chest level. Explosively jump upward, extending your arms and legs laterally (like a star!) Land into original squat position. Repeat.
40 seconds x 3 sets
Fast Jacks: Start in a standing position with feet together and arms by your side. Jump feet out away from one another while raising your arms, bent. Your feet should land slightly farther than shoulder width apart. Jump your legs back into original standing position. Rapidly repeat.
1 minute x 3 sets
Push Ups: Start in plank position with arms extended and positioned slightly more than shoulder width apart. Slowly lower your body toward the ground, keeping your back straight and head in a forward position. Pause for half a second. Push yourself back up into plank position. Repeat.
30 seconds x 3 sets
Sprints: Using a treadmill or the ground, run as fast as you can, walk, repeat
30 seconds of running, 60 seconds of walking, totaling 15 minutes.
Cycling: Using a stationary bike or bicycle, pedal as fast as you can, rest, repeat
30 seconds of pedaling, 60 seconds of cruising, totaling 15 minutes.
These are just a few examples of my favorite HIIT exercises, but I think they are a great starting point if you’re considering giving HIIT a try for the first time. If you can’t complete the exercises in the allotted time, that’s OKAY. We are all learning here, but do your best and try to have some fun with it! It’s not the laziest workout you’ll see on my page, but it’s super effective, quick, and perfect to do in the comfort of your own home while watching a new episode of Impractical Jokers. Remember to work hard, drink plenty of water during each set, and don’t be afraid of failing. You got this, friends! 💪
Hugs and high fives,