Is your workout routine getting a little boring? Try incorporating some fun HIIT workouts to boost endurance and maximize calorie burn for optimal weight loss.
Doing the same thing at the gym week after week is not only boring, it could be hindering your success in your workout and weight loss program. Changing up your routine can make it more fun, exciting and get you better results on your weight loss journey. One way to challenge yourself is to try HIIT, or high intensity interval training. HIIT is a great way to increase a calorie burn in less time. HIIT is generally intended to be used as a maximum burst of effort, such as a sprint, or movement that gets your heart rate high and gives you a feeling of breathlessness.
How to do HIIT
In order to do HIIT correctly, you want to work so hard that you feel like you couldn’t go any harder. To test out if you are doing HIIT correctly, try to talk during your interval. If you are able to talk easily, you aren’t working hard enough. Push yourself so hard that speaking is challenging to do. If you have a heart rate monitor or smart watch, this can also be a great tool for knowing how hard to train, based on your target heart rate in your training zone.
A good target heart rate training zone for HIIT is anywhere between 70-90% of your maximum heart rate. If you don’t know your maximum heart rate, there are a few equations to help you figure it out. One easy equation is called the Tanaka equation and here is how to use it: 208-(0.7x age)=maximum heart rate. Once you know your maximum heart rate, you can calculate your target heart rate percentage. One thing to keep in mind is that these are estimates and not 100% precise, but they can be a baseline to help you know how hard to push yourself during HIIT intervals.
Types of HIIT
There are many different ways to work in intervals. The most important thing to focus on is your work/rest ratio. HIIT intervals need to be incredibly high intensity, with a small amount of recovery/rest period before another high intensity interval. The amount of rest depends on the level of intensity you are putting in during the work period. Here are some HIIT suggestions to try:
- Tababa-Tabata is a very popular form of HIIT and is based on 8 work/rest interval cycles. Each cycle is composed of 20 seconds maximum effort work to 10 seconds rest. You can either time yourself for these cycles, or you can search music apps to find tabata songs. There are many different options which offer direction on timing. This makes it really convenient to just focus on your work, and push yourself–instead of having to look at a stopwatch or check the time.
- Chorus sprints-If you have a treadmill, spin bike, rowing machine or even just run/bike outside, chorus sprints are another way to incorporate HIIT into your cardio routine without adding any complicated program. Simply get a playlist filled with upbeat power songs to inspire you, and when the song builds at the chorus or bridge, sprint! During the verses or less intense parts of the song, keep a light steady jog pace. In between songs slow to a walk or full rest. The variability of this style of interval training allows for more variety in your workout routine and can help runners who are looking to speed train. Chorus sprints are also great for beginners who are simply interested in building endurance and burning a maximum amount of calories for weight loss.
- Other HIIT Interval options-There are many different intervals you can use with HIIT training, some examples are 30/15, or 40/20, even 10/50 work/rest ratio. You could even try a mix of all to make it interesting and fun. Just keep in mind that the shorter the work interval, the harder you need to push yourself. If your interval is only 10 seconds of work with 50 seconds of rest, those 10 seconds need to be at a maximum effort for the calorie burn to be most effective.
The benefit of HIIT training and weight loss is it can be done with almost any equipment, or even just your body weight. Running, cycling, rowing machines, battle ropes or kettlebells are examples of some equipment that you can use to incorporate intervals. If you don’t have any equipment at home or access to a gym, try incorporating HIIT with burpees, squat jumps, star jacks, or mountain climbers. Each of these exercises are full body plyometric exercises that will allow the heart rate to get into the training zone you need and really maximize your calorie burn.
Simple HIIT Workout
If you are new to HIIT training and don’t know where to start, here is a simple 20 minute bodyweight/jogging HIIT workout to try:
- 5 minute warm up jog-at your own light pace. Heart rate should be at about 50-60% maximum effort for a light training zone.
- 5 minutes sprint at a 30/15 work/rest ratio-sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 15. Repeat each cycle for 5 minutes. Heart rate should be in the training zone during each interval, somewhere between 70-90% maximum heart rate.
- 4 minute burpee tabata-8 rounds of 20 seconds hard work with 10 seconds rest. Heart rate should continue to be in the 70-90% maximum heart rate zone.
- 5 minutes sprint at a 30/15 work/rest ratio-sprint for 30 seconds, rest for 15. Repeat each cycle for 5 minutes. Heart rate should continue to be in the 70-90% maximum heart rate zone.
- 1 minute cool down-walk lightly at a slow pace to bring your heart rate down to resting heart rate.
- Don’t forget to fully cool down and stretch! If your heart rate has not recovered by the end of the cool down walk, feel free to continue walking slowly until you have reached full recovery. Stretch the muscles while they are still warm to help them recover and prevent injury.
HIIT training is incredibly effective and also very intense. It is recommended that you use interval training no more than 1-3 days per week depending on your fitness level, and vary your workouts to allow for rest days in your workout routine. As you continue on your weight loss program and begin to increase your endurance, you can also increase the length and amount of your HIIT training. Check out surefiz.com or any of our social media platforms for more workout tips, diet advice, recipes and more. We are here for you on your weight loss journey and love to help you succeed!