HIIT is high intensity interval training. By now, most of us will know what this term means and be familiar with how to go about using it. Simply put, it means that you are going to be alternating between periods of high intensity (normally at around 90-100% of your MHR) and periods of relatively low intensity and recovery (at around 70% of your MHR).
What this does, is to deplete your stores of glycogen and ATP, so that the only way your body can get the energy it needs to carry on with the low intensity training is to burn fat. You thus burn more fat both during the workouts and also continuously after the workout has finished!
But HIIT doesn’t just have to mean running. Actually, there are a number of different exercises you can use in order to burn more fat and build more muscle and these work perfectly when combined with a HIIT workout.
Here are some great examples:
The kettlebell swing is an exercise that involves swinging a kettlebell up in the air and then letting it fall back down again. The momentum generated by this allows you to continuously exert yourself and ultimately, it’s a great way to provide a cardio challenge that burns fat while at the same time challenging and building up your muscles as well.
This is the perfect example of ‘concurrent training’ and will not only burn more fat but also tone and build muscle and generally help you to see amazing results.
Pull ups are very well suited to HIIT, as long as you can perform enough of them with good technique. When you start to tire, you can always try to use a bit more momentum, at which point they become ‘kipping pull ups’ like those taught in CrossFit classes.
If you can’t get outside to run, then another way to burn a lot of calories with a similar motion is to perform high knees. Stand on the spot, hold your hands up high and then run so that your knees hit your hands.
Jump up in the air and then hug your knees in toward your chest each time you reach the apex of your jump.
Jack in the Box
Here, you squat down into a huddled position and then jump straight up in the air and kick your hands and arms out like a starfish. This not only challenges your legs to deliver a lot of explosive power but also involves your entire body in the movement!
Clapping Push Ups
HIIT works best when you involve your fast twitch muscle fiber. Fortunately, clapping push ups are a type of exercise that do exactly that thanks to their plyometric nature. These are much harder and more ballistic than regular press ups and can be used to burn through calories as a result.
Of course running is just one example of a CV workout. Just as good is rowing, swimming, bike… Try them all and see what works best for you!