When working out at the stadium in my place, I often see a lot of people jogging in slow or sometimes a bit more moderate speed. Doing this 30 minutes or up to one hour. I admire them and tell myself that those people must have a lot of time and willpower. I don't have time to jog for one hour and am not willing to jog for months without seeing almost no results in fat loss or endurance gain. So I go for the lazy approach and do some High Intensity Interval Training.
Are you planning to be lazy too? Then keep reading.
What is High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training is when you feel like dying but don't accept it. That is the short description you have to keep in mind when you practice HIIT. You will read more about that below in how to do High Intensity Interval Training.
HIIT is basically a cardio exercise. That means you should bring your ass out in the sun and run. You could do it on a treadmill in the gym, but I'm all about being in nature. And it will be difficult to do it efficiently on a treadmill.
A HIIT is usually no longer than 15 minutes and is based on sprints with short recovery times. So no excuse here with no time to workout.
Why do High Intensity Interval Training
There are several reasons to do a High Intensity Interval Training. The most popular would probably be the increased weight loss through a more efficient and lasting calorie burn.
Another one is the increased endurance through the production of more mitochondria in your cells, that are known as the powerhouse of your cells. The increase of mitochondria leads to several health benefits and helps to sustain weight loss as well.
Here are the benefits of HIIT in a nutshell:
- Fast fat burn
- More mitochondria in your cells
- Increased endurance
- Better hormone production
- Nice shot of serotonin (Gives you a wide smile)
- You really FEEL you worked out (Makes you smile even more)
- You save time
15 minutes HIIT is up to 9 times more efficient in fat burning than 60 minutes jogging.
The benefits are worth dying for. So don't be afraid to die a little when you go for a HIIT.
How to do High Intensity Interval Training
The classic way is to go for a run.
After warming up you start jogging and accelerate into a sprint. That means you run as fast as you can. When your GOAL is reached you stop running and change back into slow jogging to recover. You repeat this process 8 times and can do it more as you progress.
The important thing here is not to recover for too long or too short to get the maximum benefit. You should aim for 60-65% of your maximum heart rate. When sprinting, you want to reach 90-95% of your maximum heart rate before you slow down. (That's a GOAL)
There are three ways to determine your GOAL. They are by distance, time or heart rate. The last one is the best choice because it tells you, depending on your individual heart frequency, when to slow down and when to run.
The amount of time or distance will be hard for you to determine because you have no solid experience on your heart rates yet. If you have used a heart rate monitor for a while, then you will have enough experience to know when it is time to go.
But it will change as you get better and so the heart rate monitor will always be the best choice to do an efficient HIIT.
Your maximum heart rate can be calculated with the formula "220 - your age" or a bit more precise with the formula "208 - (your age * 0.7)." All you have to do next is to determine your two heart rates.
60% and 90% should do. Let's make a little example with the 30 year old Tarzan, so it is really clear:
For 90% heart rate: (220 - 30) x 0.9 = 171 For 60% heart rate: (220 - 30) x 0.6 = 114
The intensity of the training leads to increased metabolic and hormone regulating processes in your body throughout the day.
The best time to do a HIIT would be before noon to benefit most of it. Doing it in the evening a few hours before sleep would be less productive, because it could inhibit your sleep.
If your goal is to increase your endurance, then you can control your progress by checking your heart rate directly after you wake up (it should get lower as you improve) and by checking how much time you need to recover from high heart rates (should take less time as you improve).
An alternative to running would be rope jumping, swimming or cycling. I would say that running is the most effective one but should be altered from time to time to increase the results.
How to survive a High Intensity Interval Training
During round three or four you feel like dying. But it is only the lazy pig inside your mind telling you that you do.
Your body can go on. Fight that pig and silent it and the following rounds will get easier. Half done, only 3 left, only 2 left only 1 left, Done! That is all you have to see. And equip yourself with motivational music to get your ass on fire.
If you have high blood pressure or a cardiovascular disease you better not do HIIT. Once running with my cousin, who had high blood pressure, I was running alone from round 3 onwards. He started to see fat birds flying around his head and was dizzy for quite some time.
One other thing to look for is that you run on a soft ground or with good running shoes (Ideally both).
Don't take that too easy and risk damaging your joints. Unlike muscles they repair and adapt really slow and can become a lasting problem, if you don't take care in advance.
Some running shoes I would highly recommend you
Well that's it. Would be nice to hear about your experience. Happy dying 😉