HIIT – Big Benefits in a Little Time
There’s a long held misconception that if you want to get in shape you have to work out long and hard. This belief is what holds many people back from starting on their fitness journey. They think, “I’m too busy to spend hours at the gym,” or “I just don’t have the time.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s false. In fact, I started Synergy based on my knowledge that there is a better way to get fit that doesn’t require that you live at the gym.
One of the ways to make big progress in just a little time is with HIIT training. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. And if you’re a Synergy member, you’ve probably done a HIIT workout maybe without even realizing it. A typical HIIT workout is a series of short bursts of exercises followed by a brief period of rest. In research, HIIT has been shown to give the same health benefits as a moderate intensity workout that is twice as long.
During a HIIT workout you’ll spend about 45 seconds going all out on an exercise like jump squats or jumping jacks and then about 30 seconds resting before moving on to the next exercise. The goal is to get your heart rate up towards your max during the exercise intervals.
In addition to being a huge time saver, HIIT workouts will also:
- Boost your metabolic rate for hours after your workout is done. If you’re really giving your HIIT workout your all, your body will continue to burn more calories even after you’ve finished.
- Zero in on burning through fat on your body. What’s even better than the increased metabolic rate you get is that studies have shown that after a HIIT workout, your body burns more of its own fat for energy. One study showed that people who did 3 HIIT workouts per week for 3 months lost almost 5 pounds of pure body fat without making any changes to their diet. And, these same people saw an almost 20% decrease in the dangerous visceral fat that can build up around your internal organs.
- Give you lean, toned muscles. As that fat burns away, guess what’s underneath? You got it. Beautiful, lean muscle. And that lean muscle creates a wonderful ripple effect of burning through more fat.
- Give you better endurance. A study published in the Journal of Physiology showed that people who did HIIT workouts for 8 weeks doubled the length of time they could do cardio exercises like riding a bike.
- Show you broader health benefits. HIIT workouts also benefit your heart. Since your heart is a muscle, the intervals of elevated heart rate help your heart get stronger. And if you have high blood pressure, HIIT workouts can help regulate and normalize it.
Want to try HIIT right now? Here’s a basic workout to give you a good feel for what HIIT is all about. Try 45 seconds of each exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest before moving on.
- Pushups: If you can’t complete a traditional pushup, try doing pushups on your knees.
- Squats: You can use a chair for added support. Remember to keep your feet under your hips and your bodyweight in your heels.
- Butt kicks: Jog in place, kicking your right heel up to touch your butt. Repeat with the left leg.
- Tricep dips: Place your hands on a chair or a low table, with your back to the chair. Put your legs straight out while balancing on your palms. Bending from your elbows, lower as far as you can, then press up to the original position.
- Side Lunges: With your bodyweight in your heels and your toes facing forwards, step to the left in a deep lateral lunge, keeping your knee above your toes. Alternate legs.