Because high intensity interval cardio workouts are so grueling, you deserve to reward yourself with a soothing massage that can provide its own health and wellness benefits. A massage after HIIT workout routines is much more than an enjoyable way to spend an hour of your life. Just like high intensity aerobic exercise routines, massage can provide health benefits, and in this case those benefits can include "reducing stress, pain and muscle tension," note the exercise experts at the Mayo Clinic. Try a massage after HIIT training and you can also alleviate anxiety, headaches, joint pain and nerve pain, according to the Mayo Clinic's health and fitness experts.
Pain and Gain, Quickly: 5 HIIT Workouts
It’s fast. It’s furious. It’s effective. It’s High-Intensity Interval Training, your new favorite gym workout.
“But I don’t have time to work out.” Admit it, those words have passed your lips or the thought has crossed your mind, right? It’s okay. We all have been there. The good news? High-intensity interval training. HIIT, as the experts call it, is all about getting maximum results in minimum time. We’re talking fat-burning, muscle-building, lung-busting 10- to 25-minute workouts that experts agree can be more effective than your traditional hour-long cardio or weight-lifting session.
The evidence is in the results. Multiple studies at the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University have found that HIIT is a better fat-burning workout than conventional aerobics. A 2011 study also found that HIIT lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes while yet another study observed that it increases energy and oxygen production.
HIIT can also kick-start your slacking workout routine. In a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, examiners observed and measured the benefits of HIIT on healthy but sedentary middle-aged adults and reported that even low-volume workouts reduced the risk of inactivity disorders. Translation: HIIT works quickly and effectively.
We asked Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute specialist Robert Reames to share five HIIT workouts with us.
Mix and match them three or four times a week, aiming for 60 to 75 minutes of total activity in a week—and you’ll be shocked at how quickly you start seeing results.
Strength and Circuit Training Workouts
THE 9-MINUTE WORKOUT EXPRESS UPPER BODY
Reames likes this workout because it incorporates relatively light resistance levels with fast transitions to “push and pull” multi-joint, large muscle group, upper-body movements. These allow you to maximize tone and conditioning. Get in, get it done, and go on with your busy day!
- 1) Light stationary jog for 1 minute (Zone 1)
- 2) 10-second transition
- 3) Light stationary jog for 1 minute (Zone 2)
- 4) Push-ups for 30 seconds
- 5) 10-second transition
- 6) Squats for 30 seconds
- 7) 10-second transition
Repeat steps 3 to 6 (3 times)
- 8) Light jog for 2 minutes while rolling shoulders and shaking out arms (Zone 1)
SLIMTONE 15-MINUTE TOTAL BODY
This one is a short but intense and highly effective approach to circuit training, according to Reames. It focuses on large muscle groups, toning them to perfection while keeping the heart rate high to improve your aerobic fitness.
- 1) Light stationary jog for 2 minutes (Zone 1)
- 2) 10-second transition
- 3) Light stationary jog for 2 minutes (Zone 2)
- 4) Chest press for 30 seconds
- Lie on your back on a bench with your elbows bent at 90 degrees, a dumbbell in each hand, facing the ceiling. Push up until your arms are straight. Control the weights, then lower them until your arms are at 90 degrees again.
- 5) 10-second transition
- 6) Lat pull-down machine for 30 seconds (should do minimum of 10 reps; max of 20 reps)
- Grip the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, arms straight up and palms facing forward. Pull the bar down to your chest, elbows out. Return slowly to starting position, arms straight.
- 7) 10-second transition
- 8) Leg press machine for 30 seconds (should do minimum of 10 reps; max of 20 reps)
- Sit on a leg press machine with feet hip-width apart. Set the weight on a challenging yet doable resistance. Bend your
knees 90 degrees, keeping your feet flat against the foot plate. Extend your legs until they are straight but not locked. Slowly return to starting position.
- 9) 10-second transition
- Repeat steps 3 to 8 (3 times)
- 10) Light stationary jog for 3 minutes while rolling shoulders and shaking out arms
SUPER SLIMTONE 24-MINUTE TOTAL BODY
The advantages of this workout make up for the extra time commitment. “You’ll reap the benefits of this approach not only during your workout but also as you go through your busy day,” Reames says.
1) Light stationary jog for 2 minutes (Zone 1)
2) 10-second transition
3) Light stationary jog for 2 minutes (Zone 2)
4) Push-ups for 30 seconds
5) 10-second transition
6) Front row for 30 seconds
Stand with dumbbell in each hand and your knuckles facing out. Pull the dumbbells up to your chin by raising your elbows to shoulder height. Return to your starting position.
7) 10-second transition
8) Squats for 30 seconds
9) 10-second transition
Repeat steps 3 to 8 (7 times), taking a 1-minute rest period between sets 4 and 5.
10) Light stationary jog for 3 minutes while rolling shoulders and shaking out arms (Zone 1)
THE 9-MINUTE WORKOUT EXPRESS CARDIO ROWER
(Note: This workout can also be done on a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical trainer or step unit.)
Really short on time? Then this is the workout for you! “With the 9-Minute Workout Express Cardio Rower, you have the opportunity for a fast-action, heart-pumping workout that is time efficient and will challenge you during the workout while delivering benefits afterward as well,” Reames says.
1) Warm up for 1 minute (Zone 1)
2) Warm up for 2 minutes (Zone 2)
3) High intensity 3-minute blast (Zone 5)
4) Cool down for 2 minutes (Zone 2)
5) Cool down for 1 minute (Zone 1)
14-MINUTE “MINUTE-BY-MINUTE” BIKE
(Note: This workout can also be done on a treadmill, elliptical trainer, step unit or rowing machine.)
This is a super-intense cardio blast. “It provides the highest ‘acute’ calorie burn factor of any of the five workouts, along with the metabolic benefits once you finish,” Reames explains.
1) Warm up for 2 minutes (Zone 1)
2) High-intensity 1-minute blast (Zone 5)
3) 90-second rest interval (Zone 2)
Repeat steps 2 and 3 (4 times)
4) Cool down for 2 minutes (Zone 1)
Robert Reames' five HIIT cardio workouts are fast, furious and effective, and afterward, you'll want to treat your body, but you certainly don't want to run out and grab ice cream or another counter-effective treat. Following your HIIT workout week with a relaxing massage is one option. After Robert Reames' cardio workout plan, give your body a reward that still lines up with your overall fitness and wellness goals. A massage after a HIIT workout is not only relaxing for the mind, a few minutes with a massage therapist can also help prevent DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness – according to the American College of Sports Medicine: "If the primary goal is to reduce symptoms (of DOMS) then treatments such as ice pack application, massage, tender- point acupressure, and oral pain relief agents may be useful in easing pain."
Also after HIIT aerobic exercise workouts, also consider a sauna, keeping in mind that Finnish researchers discovered that "men who took more frequent saunas (four to seven times per week) actually live longer than once-per-week users," notes fitness experts in Journal of the American Medical Association. Tackle your HIIT training and remember that some Gold's gyms have a steam room, sauna, hot tub, pool or other recreational amenities. With these relaxing treats, aerobic exercise might even seem easier – with muscles ready to perform as you work out and relax more throughout the week. Hit Robert Reames' HIIT training sessions and indulge in the sauna, hot tub or other recreational amenities at your local Gold's Gym fitness club.