Studies find high-intensity interval training protects against heart disease and shows promise for improving insulin sensitivity and controlling blood pressure.
High-intensity interval training is enormously popular in the fitness industry this year. HIIT workouts typically include short bursts (6 seconds to 4 minutes) of intense exercise (≥ 90% maximal aerobic capacity) alternating with relief breaks of varying lengths (Kessler, Sisson & Short 2012; Boutcher 2011).
The workouts include a limitless variety of exercises, including
- body weight movements;
- power lifting;
- playground activities, such as sled pushes and pulls;
- multiple-mode training, on equipment such as cycle ergometers, treadmills and ellipticals; and
- heavy rope drills.
Lots of fitness professionals are advocating HIIT as a time-efficient way to improve health, fitness and performance. What does that mean for you?
- improved cardiovascular capacity at any level of exercise intensity.
- HIIT training may be a catalyst for improving fat loss.
- HIIT improves HDL cholesterol after a minimum of 8 weeks of training.
- Insulin sensitivity can improve by 23%–58% over the course of 2–16 weeks of HIIT.
Here is a simple workout you can do anywhere:
- Squats body weight (full range)
- squat jump (cardio)
- plank (progression: bring knees in and out)
- jumping jack (cardio)
- alternating rear lunge body weight (full range)
- scissor jumps (cardio)
- burpee (cardio)
- crunch or sit-up
- mountain climber (cardio)
Do each exercise for 1 min. with a 15 second rest. Do as many rounds as you can. Working on increasing the number of rounds each time you do this workout.