Are you a busy parent sending your children off to school or extracurricular activities, running errands and doing house chores? Are you a high-powered executive who doesn’t have enough hours in the day? If you’re finding it difficult to fit in your workout around your busy schedules then what you need are workouts that are highly effective at burning calories and require little time to do.
High intensity interval training alternates between an intense work period and a less intense recovery period. The intense nature of the workout means you will burn more calories, saving you time when compared with steady-state cardio over a long period. Your body will even continue burning calories after your workout is finished because of the oxygen deficit in your body. As your body replenishes this deficit, it will burn more calories.
HIIT workouts can be as simple or varied as you want them to be, and they often don’t require expensive equipment.
Examples of exercises you can use in an HIIT workout are:
In circuit training you move through a series of exercises (stations) without resting in between. When you complete all the exercises, you have completed one ‘circuit.” Before starting another circuit there is a short rest period. Circuit training is used to condition your body and can include both resistance exercises and high-intensity aerobic exercises.
Here’s one example of a circuit workout:
Rest for 60 to 90 seconds and then repeat the circuit
One of the most popular forms of HIIT. The Tabata Protocol, as its known, is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata. This form of training was developed when Tabata was researching the difference between medium-intensity exercise over a longer period of time vs. short, highly intensive workout sessions. He found that the high-intensity group had improved both anaerobic (muscle) and cardiovascular systems, whereas the medium-intensity group only improved cardio ability.
Tabata workouts last only 4 minutes, but they are the most intense 4 minutes you will experience in a workout. The structure of a Tabata workout is:
You must push yourself at maximal effort for 20 seconds in order to make the Tabata workout worthwhile. If after 4 minutes you are not exhausted, you didn’t push yourself hard enough.
An example Tabata workout could look like this:
If you’re like most people and have a hard time fitting in a workout, then try concentrating your exercises using HIIT, circuit training and Tabata workouts.