High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sounds intense — literally, but with the right approach, there is no need to fear it. There are more benefits than just attaining a smaller waistline, HIIT can also help boost your immune system! In fact, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine reported you can reduce your chances of contracting the flu by 10% through 2.5 hours per week of high intensity workouts—that is just 20 minutes a day!
What is it?
HIIT is an exercise strategy where the participant alternates short periods of intense exercise movement. When starting a HIIT work out, it is important to warm up. This work out usually combines intense cardio with strength training, core conditioning, and functional training techniques. The repetitions can be as short as 20 seconds to as much as 90 seconds, there is no one formula, it all depends on your athletic skill level.
Basic HIIT Workout
If you’re new to this type of training, here are some of my favorite basic workouts to get you started:
Start with six minutes of cardio
- Begin with 30 seconds of walking
- Follow with 30 seconds of jogging, medium intensity
- Break into sprinting at maximum intensity for 60 seconds
- Depending on your skill level, continue working between maximum and medium intensity for 3:45
- At the last 15 seconds, begin to walk to let your body recover before moving into the next movement
After cardio, move to a core exercise.
- Planks: get down on the floor and hold your body up by your toes and elbows. Make sure to keep your body aligned; don’t arch your back.
- Crunches: Lay on you back with your knees bended. Lift your upper body up and move towards your knees. If you have a hard time keeping your feet on the ground, place them under couch. Or, if in the park, use a bench to lay with your bottom on the back rest and your back on the seat. You may look crazy, but just think about your abs!
Leg strengthening is always important!
- Wall sits: with your back against a wall, dip your bottom down like you are sitting in an imaginary chair. Want to be even more intense? Hold a weight or a dumbbell in your lap!
- Squats: there are a couple of things to keep in mind when doing a squat. The first thing is to maintain a straight back. The second is to make sure your knees do not exceed your toes when dipping into the squat. You can add a weight to this exercise, too!
If you find it hard to fit exercise into your schedule every day, this is a great program to get started on as it is a maximum energy work out in a short time span!
About Nolan Ferraro, Owner, Salire Fitness and Wellness
Certified personal trainer and licensed wellness coach Nolan Ferraro has been recognized as the #1 Best Personal Trainer in New Orleans.
Nolan counts Chef Susan Spicer among the thousands of New Orleanians who have gotten in shape with Salire's high-impact fitness programs like “Power in the Park” a month-long cross-training boot camp in City Park. He has also added a new high intensity interval training class, Body Blitz, at his studio. Visit www.salirefitness.com for more information on Nolan and Salire Fitness & Wellness.