You’re going to start seeing more crazy people working out. They’ll be easy to spot. They’ll be running in place with all their might, then they will huff and puff for 10 seconds and drop to the ground pedaling their legs madly doing bicycle crunches. They will work through an entire set of 8 exercises in four minutes flat. These folks have discovered high-intensity interval training. HIIT. If they’re doing it right they will be putting out 100% effort in eight 20 second bursts. They will look a bit crazy. I am now one of them.
I used to hate workouts.
Not so much the actual workout but the whole time / getting ready thing. At one point , my whole workout (process) was an hour and a half. Due to this hassle, I would only get around to it about 3 times a week.
I then discovered (HIIT) high intensity interval training. I stumbled across HIIT while I was searching for the best exercises for a heavy bag. What I discovered was there was a ton of research on HIIT dating back to successful tests with Olympic speed skating teams in Japan. The original process was invented by Professor Izumi Tabata in 1996. It is also referred to as Tabata training. The basic concept allows Non-Olympic athletes like me to incorporate HIIT into a short 20 minute workout which provides the same benefits as a one-hour workout.
I do 8 minutes of warm-up exercises, 4 minutes of HIIT, and 8 minutes of cool down exercises for a total of 20 minutes. The catch is that during the high-intensity portion of the workout you’ll be going 100% in 20 second intervals with 10 seconds of rest for a total of four minutes.
You will look a bit crazy doing this.
For this reason, I prefer to do this type of HIIT exercise in my basement where no one can get hurt, other than me of course. I use core exercises as a warm-up (8 minutes), a heavy bag for the high-intensity part (4 minutes), then 8 minutes of cool down with weights (total 20 minutes). The heavy bag makes such a ruckus in the basement that it shakes the whole house. Recently SuperK came downstairs to create a quick video clip on her iPhone of this high-intensity heavy bag portion of my workout. The five or six people people who saw the video prior to it being deleted collapsed on the ground laughing.
I can only imagine how crazy I would look doing lots of different exercises, as illustrated here in this infographic provided by Tiny Hearts. The great thing about this type of exercise is that you can mix it up or focus on one type of exercise for your intervals like sprinting, spinning or boxing.
What happens when you’re going at 100% is that form definitely suffers, especially when you are in the early stages of HIIT. I recommend starting with fewer types of exercises for the HIIT portion of the workout then you can always add variety and mix it up later. I use only the heavy bag for my HIIT exercises.
Warm up and Cool Down are a big part of HIIT.
An important part of the 20 minute routine I described is the warm-up exercises. You want to make sure your muscles are warmed up if you’re about to jump into some interval training with 100% exertion. You’ll want your heart rate to return to normal by the end of the cool down period.
Here is my current 20 minute workout incorporating the 4 min (HIIT) Tabata Regimen. I recommend a GymBoss Timer for your interval training. At 100% exertion you won’t be able to count or look at your phone. The GymBoss uses loud beeps. Adds to the craziness.
This is just my example. Always check with a doctor or fitness professional before setting up your own routine. Then Get Crazy.