I am an avid runner and with my upcoming pursuit of conquering 5 full marathons this year, I have done some research on alternate workouts to maintain my endurance while also building my strength. I have done a lot of research on HIIT workouts – High-Intensity Interval Training. Ultimately, HIIT is short bursts of intense exercises (anaerobic interval) alternated with low-intensity (aeorbic interval) recovery periods. Here are some benefits of implementing HIIT workouts into your routine:
- Increased caloric burn during and after the workout as your body replaces energy and repairs muscle proteins.
- Higher metabolic rate after the workout due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
- Improved oxygen consumption which contributes to calories burned – you burn 5 calories per liter of oxygen consumed. Short intervals of high-intensity exercise involving a lot of muscle mass require a lot of oxygen, during both the work and the recovery periods.
- Fat lose – your body metabolizes fat for fuel during the workout and in the post-exercise phase your body will tap into fat stores for the energy required to restore it to its normal resting state.
- Muscle gain – HIIT places a significant amount of metabolic stress on muscle tissue. As part of the repair process, the body will produce elevated levels of human growth hormone, testosterone and insulin-like growth factor-1 to repair damaged muscle proteins, which leads to increase in muscle volume and definition.
- Reduced heart rate and blood pressure.
- Reduced blood sugar.
- Super efficient – I am all about saving time these days and if I can complete an intense, high-energy workout with high caloric burn, strengthening and endurance focused – I am all about it.
Here’s one of my HIIT routines that I typically do – each workout for 45 seconds with a 15 second recovery period. Rock it for 3 rounds:
- Mountain Climbers
- High Knees
- Side Lunges
- Pulsing Squats
- Lateral Raises
- Jumping Jacks
Try it out and let me know what you think!
*Please be sure to be cleared by your MD prior to performing any high-intensity interval training.