Remember to consult your doctor before starting any diet and exercise plan.
Satisfying your cardio requirements can be a tedious and boring task. But, the reality is, cardio remains an essential component of any workout program. The goal of a cardio workout is simple: improve cardiovascular function, increase endurance, burn fat and enhance metabolism. There are many different forms of cardio activity that can satisfy these needs. One of the most effective cardio workout programs is high intensity interval training (HIIT).
THE HIIT SYSTEM:
HIIT involves a workout composed of short intense interval sprints followed by longer, steady-state low-intensity intervals. This will actually cause your body to continue to burn calories and fat after the workout is complete, making it a popular choice among performance athletes. This “afterburn effect” is caused by something called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This simply means that there will be an increased rate of oxygen consumption well after the workout is complete.
THE HIIT WORKOUT:
The goal of HIIT is to elevate your heart rate intervals so that they reach a minimum of 65% for the steady state and a maximum of 85% for the interval component. This can be accomplished on a treadmill, elliptical or even outdoors!
HIIT ON TREADMILL:
Using a treadmill, perform a brief warm-up of moderate-paced walking at a speed of 2.5 mph and then begin the first interval with a sprint of 6.0 mph or higher for 30-60 seconds. Follow this with a moderate-paced walk of 3.0 mph for 2 minutes and then repeat the sprint again. Continue this pattern for 20 minutes, slowly working your way up to 30 minutes over time as you continue to improve your endurance.
HIIT ON ELLIPTICAL:
On an elliptical, the HIIT system can be used doing speed intervals. After a brief warm-up, jack up the resistance and your speed for 30-60 seconds. Follow that up with 2 minutes at a slower speed with decreased resistance. Then continue repeating the intervals until you have reached 20 minutes.
If the weather permits, you can also perform your HIIT workout outdoors. Find a hilly terrain in your area and after a brief warm-up, run/jog up the hill as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Then start walking back down and after 2 minutes, climb back up at full speed for another 30 seconds. Continue to repeat this process for 20 minutes.
Your initial goal of any HIIT workout is to aim for 20 minutes of interval training. In order to improve, start adding 2 minutes to your workout each week until you can do 30 minutes in total. The effects of the EPOC system will allow you to burn calories and fat long after your workout is complete. This is the perfect solution for someone with a busy schedule or who wants to avoid spending an hour doing monotonous and slow steady-state cardio. So, if you’re looking for a fresh new way to fulfill your cardio needs, the HIIT system can help bring some extra energy and explosive intensity back into your routine!