It is beach season again, and you know what that means, big muscles, hard abs, and tiny bikinis. Living in Newport Beach, California summer is here! I am getting ready to shed my… ahem…winter layer with High Intensity Interval Training! Why would anyone want to spend countless hours in the gym unless you are working out with your crush? With HIIT not only do I challenge my heart rate and stamina, but my muscles as well. The best part about high intensity training is that my calorie burn will be through the roof, long after my workout is completed, this is referred to as Excess Post Workout Oxygen Consumption (EPOC).
The basis of High Intensity Interval Training is pretty simple. I pick the exercises I would like to perform, preferably compound movements (multi-joint), and sequence them one after another. For instance my favorite is taking a bilateral leg movement (two legged), a pushing upper body arm movement, a unilateral leg movement (single leg), and a pulling arm movement. So for the four exercises I have chosen are Squat, Pull up, Step Up, Overhead Press. Now comes the effort. I perform these four exercises in sequence for a designated time like 1 minute, or designated reps, say 20 reps, without stopping. I also try to use a decently heavy weight. After all four exercises have been accomplished, I rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then I repeat. Typically I like to stay between 4 to 5 rounds depending on the time frame or number of repetitions.
I can honestly say that these workouts keep me sweating, in and out of the gym, and best of all, they give me results! So let’s see, 20 minutes HIIT or 60 minutes on the treadmill, burning half the calories. It is a no brainer! Do not over think High Intensity Interval Training, like many do. There is no rule against the number of exercises or circuits that must be completed. I like to switch it up as often as possible with different movements to keep my body guessing and looking fierce!