Burn fat and increase your metabolism. Workout with no equipment!
One of my most frequently asked questions is how I stay fit, and I am always eager to share with others my fitness regime. If you follow my fitness Instagram (@kbanfit), I am a huge advocate for high intensity interval training (HIIT).
You may have heard of it, but what is HIIT exactly?
HIIT is a cardiovascular workout of interval training with intense exercises and minimal recovery. That means that you would be alternating between exercises, usually with a timer or a max set time of training. This type of training gets your heart rate up and keeps it up with limited or active rests! Due to the lack of recovery within HIIT, your body uses up more oxygen than normal and will actively try to renew it after your workout to return to your body’s resting level of oxygen for metabolic function. This reaction to oxygen reproduction is termed as “Excess Post Exercise Consumption” (EPOC). In result you will continue to burn fat and calories long after you’ve finished your workout! The great thing about a HIIT workout is that it can always be different. You can use any exercises, with or without weight… the options are endless and you will never get bored! My approach to HIIT is simple. I focus on two body parts (for example, legs and abs), and choose 5-8 exercises alternating between the two. I would then repeat the circuit of exercises 3-4x. I try to aim for 40-45min each HIIT workout. This form allows me to incorporate weight more easily; challenging my body’s strength and cardiovascular ability. Another approach would be by using a timer, which works well for isolated muscle group or cardio. For example, setting a timer for ten 20sec. cardio exercises (such as high knees or lateral skating) or an isolated muscle group such as abs. There are so many combinations to try such as cardio with body weight leg exercises; there really is no limit! The key is performing the exercises at 100% with timed rests (ex. 30sec rests in between).
What are some benefits to HIIT workouts?
Increases your metabolism
Since your body is challenged at max capacity during your workout, it activates EPOC after training as I mentioned earlier. Your oxygen consumption remains elevated which means your body is continuing to burn calories as it restores factors in the muscle cells to pre-exercise levels. These include hormone balancing, cellular repair, and replenishing fuel stores in the body. This effect increases your metabolism by burning more energy during and after your workout. The high energy of HIIT will help you lose weight faster compared to steady state cardio. The harder you train, the longer your body needs to replenish and the more calories you will burn post workout.
It’s quick and convenient
Do you have 30min a day to watch TV? Then that means your have time for a HIIT workout! Since no equipment is needed, you can easily workout from home or even in front of the TV. Travelling? You can squeeze in a workout in your hotel room. Summer and want a tan? Workout at the beach or park. It’s also great as a warm up, try adding in 10min of HIIT at the beginning of your weightlifting workout as your warmup.
It’s easy, challenging and no equipment needed
Although I enjoy incorporating weights, you don’t need any at all to get an amazing heart racing workout. As long as your putting in the max force in your interval exercises you’ll burn the calories but won’t lose your muscle. It’s convenient in choosing your own exercises and body parts you want to train and you can always switch it up to keep the workouts challenging.
Lose fat and not muscle
For those of you afraid of cardio because you have the impression that your muscles with diminish, HIIT actually maintains muscle tone since your using your own body as the weight. Perfect for those wanting to shed fat while building muscle or increasing your cardiovascular fitness while maintaining muscle tone.
Don’t know where to start? Challenge yourself to HIIT next time your on a cardio machine. For example, on a treadmill start off by walking as your warm up then sprint for 20-30 seconds. Then jog for 1-2min and repeat for 10-20 minutes.
If your curious for something more challenging, I post my own HIIT workouts on my fitness Instagram page, so be sure to check that out for more inspiration!