High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT Will Transform Your Body

If you’re trying to stay fit in the most effective, time-efficient way possible, running and other types of steady-state cardio are far behind the lead. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns more calories and fat in shorter amounts of time.

If you run for pleasure, congrats: you’re one of the rare human beings who has a hobby that keeps them fit and doesn’t have to “make time” for workouts.

Running and HIIT

Distance running and endurance cardio are great for hobbies. The University of South Wales compared the fat loss of 45 overweight women following two different exercise programs. One group exercised at a steady pace for 40 minutes, the other group exercised for 20 minutes on a bike, alternating between 8 second sprints and 12 seconds of light riding – a typical HIIT practice called Spinning.

The group of women that exercised for 20 minutes lost 3 times as much fat as the other group! Half the exercise, 3 times the fat lost. Now that’s efficiency.

Stay Balanced

One of the possible reasons for this is the body’s powerful ability to adapt and maintain homeostasis. If you repeat the same workout repetitively (like running), your metabolism adapts to the point where it will actually burn less calories because it has become familiar with the activity that is being required of it. Moreover, repeating the same activity without variation may lead to injury due to muscular imbalances.

Runners enjoy many health, weight loss and even confidence improvements and benefits, but tend to have comparatively weak hamstrings, which can lead to an overcompensation by the musculature surrounding the hamstrings. Anytime there is an imbalance like this, the risk for injury is increased.

Whole-Body Cardio: Alternatives to Running

Here’s a few cardio exercises that can give similar benefits to a long run in a fraction of the time:

Burpee HIIT Challenge:

Your workout:

  • Beginner: 25 Burpees
    Let the intensity begin!
  • Endurance: 50 Burpees
    Maintain your focus.
  • Pro: 75 Burpees
    Maintain perfect form. You’re a beast!
  • Navy Seal: 100 Burpees
    You’re unstoppable.

Pick a number, and do as many as quickly as you can with great form. Track your progress at every session. This one full-body exercise is a great way to track your fitness on multiple levels. Start with whatever number you can comfortably do, and aim to increase by 10 each session. This is an extremely quick way to wake up, engage your entire body, and boost your heart rate.

Tabata Jump rope

Tabata workouts are great HIIT workouts.

  • Two-Foot jumping: 20 seconds as many reps as possible
    10 seconds rest
  • Left-Foot jumping: 20 seconds as many reps as possible
    10 seconds rest
  • Right-Foot jumping: 20 seconds as many reps as possible
    10 seconds rest
  • Alternating jumping: 20 seconds as many reps as possible
    10 seconds rest
  • Repeat for 2-5 rounds (4-10 minutes)

Superb Sprint Interval Workout

If you like running, at least run efficiently
5-10 rounds (depending on fitness level) of:

  • Sprint 100 meters
  • Rest or walk 60 seconds

Kettlebell Lifts Swings

  • 10 minutes, as many reps as possible with perfect form

Calisthenic Mountain Climbers

3 rounds of:

  • 15 reps, each leg
  • 10 second rest
  • 10 reps, each leg
  • 10 second rest
  • 5 reps, each leg
  • 10 second rest

Holistic, Optimum Fitness

Remember that HIIT is quick but challenging. Make sure your brain is ready to workout, too. It takes much more willpower – which is what makes spinning classes so popular. HIIT is a great way to build determination and discipline.

Always practice good nutrition and consider supplementing your diet if you feel so inclined. There are many facets to optimum health, and I encourage you to maintain balance, keeping up your mental and emotional energy as your body stays in shape. HIIT puts you in a state of aiming to consistently beat your personal best, which is a fantastic way to strengthen your confidence.

If you have a story about smart fitness that had a major impact on your life, let us know via any of our Social Media profiles. Also, if you want to explore 8fit’s hiit workouts, sign up here.