Following the popularity of my last post, I wanted to look more closely at High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), of which Tabata is a part of. I also want to offer some more workout ideas that you can try. If you’re looking for some ideas to boost your post pregnancy fitness and to get you in shape fast, then this is probably for you.
HIIT can be any type of circuit training or interval training where you work at a high intensity for a period of time, followed by a rest. This can be done with bodyweight exercises or weights Alternatively it can be done using any form of cardiovascular exercise such as running, cycling or rowing.
It has however, very quickly become its own unique type of training which is synonymous with bursts of high intensity exercise lasting 30-40 seconds, followed by 15-20 seconds rest. This is then repeated for 10-12 exercises to form a block. Between blocks there is a larger rest period of up to 1-2 minutes, followed by the same block, or a different block of similar exercises.
How does HIIT work?
During a HIIT workout, your body isn’t able to get enough oxygen during the periods of hard exercise. You therefore accumulate a debt of oxygen that must be repaid post-workout in order to return to normal. As a result, your metabolism is elevated for a number of hours after the session, allowing you to continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours. This phenomenon is often referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
Why should I try HIIT and what does it involve?
HITT is extremely effective for fat burning therefore you can quickly transform your body with this type of training. It’s also very time efficient as workouts typically last from 10-30 minutes, making it very accessible for busy mums.
Being interval based, it allows you to keep the workout intensity high while still maintaining form. When creating your own workouts, try to include complex movements that will challenge your entire body in a single exercise.
Due to the high intensity of the exercise, HIIT is extremely good for developing cardiovascular fitness, strengthening your heart and lungs. By incorporating running, cycling or rowing intervals on a machine in the gym, at home or outside you can really vary your workouts.
Since HIIT can be done using body weight exercises or weights, it can be used to improve strength too. As long as your form is good throughout, this kind of training is great for people who have suffered overuse injuries related to certain types of exercise. For example, if you have had lots of running or cycling based injuries due to the repetitive nature of the sport, HIIT can be great for you. By changing the exercise every 30 seconds or so, you are reducing the continual impact to a particular part of the body.
Here’s a couple of workout ideas to get you started:
1. Bike session (stationary bike):
5 minutes of warm-up at level 7 (on a bike with a maximum of 20 levels of resistance)
6 sets in 6 minutes, with each set consisting of:
40 second burst at 90% effort – level 12 to 16 (max of 20)
20 second rest at snails pace – level 5 (max of 20)
12 sets in 9 minutes, with each set consisting of:
30 second burst at 95%+ effort – level 14 to 20 (max of 20)
15 second rest at snails pace – level 5 (max of 20)
5 minutes of cool down at level 7 (max of 20)
2. Circuit session:
For further HIIT workout ideas, have a look at my HIIT board on Pinterest.
‘Rise’ to the challenge of HIIT
Here are a few final tips to get you going with your HIIT workouts:
Make it Regular
Make it Intense
Make it Short
Make it Enjoyable
Drop me a line if you have any questions and above all, have fun!