There are plenty of reasons why it is so hard to commit to a regular workout plan. A lot of people would complain about the monotony of most cardio exercises while others can’t find ways to fit an hour of workout in their busy schedules.
If you are among these types of people, then trying out High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT could be the answer. And you cannot complain about not having enough time to do it because it would take only 4 minutes a day to complete this highly recommended workout.
But first, what is High Intensity Interval Training?
To briefly explain its concept, interval training is a workout comprise of short bursts of intense exercises. The difficult pace is alternated with a resting time. The repeated alternation of intense movements and rest is what makes the routine beneficial. To those who are already doing interval training, this is much preferred because it would take only a fraction of time spent on the usual workout but the effects last long after it is done. The alternate high intensity and low intensity workout engage your mind to the workout making you more focused and aware of how much time you spent and how intense you are doing. This makes the activity less boring and will actually challenge you to do better every single time.
How can you start with a 4-minute High Intensity Interval Training?
Among the many variations of interval training, the Tabata Method is the simplest to do and perfect for those who have limited time. To do it, 20 seconds of intense exercise are followed by 10 seconds of break. This cycle is then repeated for eight times, completing a 4 minute workout.
What types of exercise can be included in the cycle?
The Tabata principle is to do as many repetitions as you can during the intense phase. But it does not follow specific workout moves so the possibilities of creating variations that you are most comfortable of are endless.
Classic moves that are recommended for novices are Burpee, Lunges, Push-up, Squats, Jumping Ropes, Mountain Climbers, Sprints, Weight Bench Hop Overs, and Swings. The key to achieving success in this system is to remember that the first 20 seconds should be spent on hard work and should be followed immediately by 10 seconds of rest. The catch here is that you really have to push yourself hard to achieve an after-burn effect where you continue to burn a lot of calories hours after you finished your workout.
When you are new to interval training, you are expected to do at least a round of one recommended exercise. After your body has adjusted to this new form of exercise, you can start adding other variations and lengthen the time, especially when you want to burn more calories or when you are targeting a specific weight. But you can just stick to the 4-minute cycle if you are just looking for a way to keep a healthy body by doing a regular exercise routine.
Build a Complete Exercise Program
Typically, interval training is performed two to three times per week. The vacant days should be spent to challenge your body even more instead of giving it time to slack off. Fitness growth can be achieved if you are going to switch routines from regular interval training and other forms of exercise on the remaining days of the week. You can choose from simple cardio workouts like running, swimming, and bicycling. Or you may opt to do strength training, core exercises, and stretching. It really does not matter what type of exercise as long as you are able to get your body moving at all times.
What makes interval training great?
Probably the best thing about high intensity interval training is that you do not need to have gym equipment or a professional to lead you during every workout. It would help to consult with a fitness trainer first and have him help you assess your fitness level so that you can match which type of workouts suit you. The concept is very simple and the internet provides a lot of ideas on what routines to include in your interval training plan. You may also download mobile applications that can help you with every workout. There are timers to keep you at the right pace, nutrition planner to guide you with the proper diet, and tons of other interval training apps that will make each session fun and easier to complete.
If you think High Intensity Interval Training would be a great workout regimen for you, then it would be great to start the training today.