HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval training. To put it in a nutshell, it is a workout that is made of intervals of fast-paced movement (running for example) to make the heart beats faster, followed by recovery time (lower movement). The ratio is usually 30:30 or 20: 30: Fast time at 100% capacities for 30 seconds and then slower movements for 30 seconds before repeating. HIIT cardio is apparently very effective and allows you to burn an equal amount of calories in 10 minutes than a 30 minutes regular cardio workout.
I am doing HIIT with the BBG toning program. I repeat cardio movement twice with a break in between, so it raises up my heartbeats before lowering it down, for a total of 28 minutes. I am also aware of the body HIIT that we can do at home with YouTube coaches. I did it once, and it was very… intense! I was supposed to do HIIT with the Kayla Itsines program and I really thought I did (I mean, RPM/cycling is HIIT, right?). Basically, I was running on the treadmill for 10 minutes, then stopping for 2 minutes and then running again for 10 minutes…. You can feel the struggle!
favorite coach came to help me this week and showed me how to really perform HIIT. And I have to say, it is AMAZING. He told me that we can basically do it on every cardio machine. Basically, the tip is to set a cardio machine to a single level (I did level 10 on the rower which is the maximum and 15 on the elliptical) and I started by moving for 30 seconds at a peaceful pace (like I would do if I was not motivated) followed by 30 seconds very intense at my 100%. The coach told me to do that for 10 minutes and if I still had the energy I can do it for another 10 minutes.
For some reasons, I thought it would be different on the treadmill, and I did not want to set it up manually (touching the + and – buttons while running every 30 seconds). Last week, I went for a DXA scan and the coach told me I really need to focus on HIIT and running. when I went back to the gym, I (finally) looked into the treadmill’s program and I found it! The gym’s treadmill HIIT variation is 1 minute: 1 minute and the intensity is already set up. It was amazing, and I never ran that fast in my life (the pace was 4:30 mins for 1km in high intensity).
I think HIIT is super cool because it breaks the cardio routine and it is really fun. We don’t have to go on crazy expensive high-tech machines to do that (like I thought). Feel free to check out this helpful article if you want to buy your own treadmill. After 5 minutes I was already dead, my face was between red and purple (
keeping it real here) but I really enjoyed myself. Although, if you want to try that, which I highly encourage, do NOT do it for 35 minutes for the first time, like I did because you feel afterward that you are really lacking energy. HIIT is made so you can burn calories during AND after the workout (when you are just lying in bed watching Netflix!) and it increases fat burning!
Good luck to you and do let me know which cardio machine you use to perform your HIIT!