Yay! Another Blog Swap! This week Hanna over at Scratch Paper Fitness is taking over Flex and Shout! Hanna is a fellow #sweatpink ambassador and all around BAMF! You can check out my post on her blog as well 🙂
Hanna is an NASM CPT with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry, as well as a TurboKick Kickboxing Certified Instructor. She does one-on-one personal training, group training, bootcamps, and group fitness classes. Hanna loves fitness, nutrition, science, and kickboxing and will not shut up about it if you start a conversation…thus came a blog (her own words, promise!)! She posts workouts, vidoes, weekly schedules, bootcamps, recipes on her blog. Plus, she’s super sweet and amazing. So there’s that.
The following is Hanna’s post on HIIT cardio! Enjoy 🙂
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is one of the best ways to amp up fat burn in a short amount of time. Even better, you can get an amazing workout at home (using no equipment) by incorporating HIIT workouts.
HIIT is a form of interval training in which you alternate between periods of short intense anaerobic exercise and less intense recovery periods. The short intense periods should be done at nearly maximal intensity for the best benefits, and the recovery period should allow your heart rate to slowly lower and recover. The alternating sets could be anything within your own cardiovascular ability. This could be alternating a slow walk with a fast arm-pumping walk, or alternating a moderate jog with an all-out sprint depending on your own personal fitness level.
So why is HIIT so great?
Maximize your workout time: HIIT workouts can be anywhere from 4 minutes to 30 minutes because of the substantial amount of cardiovascular benefit you get from the short period of time. Studies have shown that short periods of high intensity exercise produce similar muscular and cardiovascular benefits as a long period of endurance training.
Burn more calories after your workout: HIIT allows for the EPOC effect – excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, meaning your continue to maximize calorie burn for the 24 hours following your workout by increasing your resting metabolic rate.
Improve performance and cardiovascular capacity: HIIT has been shown to increase maximal oxygen consumption more effectivly than endurance cardio. Weekly HIIT workouts will help you increase your cardio endurance, build muscular endurance, and feel stronger during your workout than using solely traditional steady-state cardio.
Burn more fat in less time: Most people still subscribe to the idea that long steady-state moderate cardio is the most effective for fat loss – this is because it takes about 30 minutes into a workout to switch from burning sugars and fast energy to fatty acid utilization and actually burning fat. This isn’t wrong, but what most people don’t realize is that this is based on measuring respiratory quotient (RQ), a measure of the ratio of fats and carbohydrates that are being metabolized for energy. There is a “sweet spot” that people rely on, at moderate intensity exercise where the RQ value indicates that fat is the primary energy source – thus it is believed you are burning more fat this way. Tricky thing about RQ is that as your intensity goes up, the ratio of fat being used as fuel goes up A LOT, meaning with an even more intense workout you are allowing yourself just as much potential to metabolize fat for energy but in LESS time. So if you don’t have an hour to flip through magazines on the treadmill at a slow pace, but you do have 20-30 minutes to bust out an intense high intensity interval routine – do yourself a favor and go for the intervals!
You can read more here – this is a great, thorough article describing the scientific background behind the HIIT technique.
So how do you get started on HIIT and how often should you do it?
If you are just starting out, try adding in a HIIT cardio session once a week. Bump that up to twice a week if it feels good. Careful not to overdo it as our hearts need adequate rest! No need to do HIIT more than a few times a week.
12 Minute HIIT Routine (bodyweight exercises):
Grab a timer (or watch the clock very carefully…) and complete this 12 minute workout anywhere you have some space to jump around! I love to add this in a couple times a week to really amp up the fat burning OR on those days when you aren’t feeling your workout…this is a great short workout to use instead.