I’m often asked,
“What’s the best type of cardio?”
Before I answer the question I always reply with…
“What type of cardio are you currently doing?”
To no surprise, 9 out of 10 women respond with an hour on a treadmill, 45 minutes on the elliptical, or running several miles outdoors.
Well, guess what?
What if I could show you a proven way to burn more than twice the amount of bodyfat in a fraction of the time that it takes when doing traditional cardio – would you be interested?
Glad you answered, “YESSSS!!”
I’m going to discuss a method of exercise called, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
In a nutshell, High Intensity Interval Training is alternating between an intense bout of exercise followed by low intensity exercise.
My favorite and the most common I use with clients are [15 : 45].
For example, you sprint for 15 seconds then jog for 45 seconds.
15 seconds of HARD intensity + 45 seconds of LOW intensity = 1 min.
Once you’ve progressed to better conditioning then you can add additional time to your HARD work and subtract time from your LOW intensity work.
- Beginner – Intermediate [20 : 40]
- Advanced [30 : 30]
- Insane [60 : 60] (be prepared to feel like you just got hit by a bus).
Why is HIIT better than regular cardio?
You get maximum return off your time invested in exercise. When you jog for 60 minutes (standard cardio) you will only burn calories while you’re active for that one hour.
However, if you perform a HIIT session like I mentioned above [15 : 45] for 15 rounds.
You exercise for a total of 15 minutes versus 60 minutes.
Here’s the beauty of HIIT – you burn calories during that 15 minutes and additional calories for up to 24 – 36 hours after that exercise session.
This added bonus is known as the “After Burn” or more scientific term EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Consumption).
That after burn effect is what raises your metabolism which is the key component to getting rid of stubborn bodyfat. That’s why HIIT has grown in popularity.
Who is HIIT for?
The HIIT approach to cardio exercise is very physically demanding and isn’t for everyone.
If you are relatively new to aerobic(cardio) exercise or not already in good shape, lets put HIIT on the back burner – at least for now.
This is cardio performed for 30-45 mins at a steady state pace. You may use a treadmill, elliptical, rower, stationary bike, or run outside.
This method of cardio will increase your cardiovascular fitness and prepare you for future HIIT.
In order for steady state cardio to be effective you’ll need 3 sessions of 30-45 minutes per week.
Now, if you’ve been performing cardio sessions for a period of time and as frequent as 3 times per week – give HIIT a try.
HIIT will take your cardiovascular and body composition to a whole new level. Let me share some effective HIIT workout routines for maximum fat burning results.
HIIT Cardio Treadmill Workout
If you have access to a treadmill try this HIIT treadmill workout:
Injury Prevention Tip: DO NOT sprint and then “jump the rails” on the treadmill.
“Jumping the rail” increases your chances of pulling a hamstring by 70% – DON’T DO IT!
Do you sprint outside and then all of sudden STOP? ....Absolutely not!
You gradually slow down…
Same thing applies on the treadmill, ok?
- Warm up 3-5 minutes.
- Perform 7-12 cycles of HARD/EASY ratio.
- 30 Seconds HARD (Fast Jog/Sprint) followed by 30 Seconds EASY (Power Walk/Slow Jog)
- Cool down 3-5 minutes.
If you find that 30/30 is too easy, try bumping it up to 40/20 or if you’re feeling brave: 60/60 (60 seconds HARD/60 seconds EASY).
This same format can be used with a jump rope, bike, rower, or elliptical. I recommend using the bike for beginners or individuals who have knee, ankle, or lower back issues.
Key Points To Remember About HIIT
Beginners and individuals with cardiovascular problems should not attempt HIIT unless it is prescribed by your physician. Read the beginner recommendations above.
HIIT is ideal for people who want to lose body fat, improve endurance, and preserve lean muscle tissue.
Before each HIIT session make sure you warm up 3-5 minutes before and cool down 3-5 minutes afterwards.
Make sure you go “All Out” during the “HARD” portion of your HIIT session. Give it 100% maximum intensity.
Perform HIIT as a stand-alone workout or immediately after a training session if time permits.
Ideally, you could train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Then perform a HIIT session on non-weight training days – Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
HIIT is a staple in my training as well as a valuable tool I use to help clients get great results.
Find a way to implement HIIT it into your training schedule and reap the many benefits it has to offer.
Always listen to your body and know the difference between pain and muscle fatigue/failure.
If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it or find a different way of doing it.
Challenge yourself and set incremental goals!
If you enjoyed this, please share it with a friend so they will benefit from it as well.
If you have any questions or just want to say “Thanks”, feel free to reach out. I would love to hear from you!
Dedicated to helping you achieve your best,
CC “HIIT MAN” Matthews
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