Does the thought of spending an eternity on the treadmill, staring at the clock as the seconds slowly tick by make your soul die a little inside? Good news! HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, turns an endless, static cardiovascular workout into another beast all together–getting you through the tough parts faster, and being more beneficial all the way around.
So, what is it? HIIT is a cardiovascular strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with longer recovery periods. There is no traditional amount of time for you to interval train, and most athletes accomplish what they’re after in less than thirty minutes! Although they are generally associated with sprinting, HIIT exercises are anything cardio-related. If you hate running, try jumping rope or cycling as hard as you possibly can.
Studies show that there is more to high-intensity interval training than just spicing up your cardio game as well. Compared to traditional cardio, HIIT trainers showed significantly higher maximum oxygen consumption (V02 max%). HIIT also burned more calories than traditional cardio in a shorter duration of time and kept the body’s metabolism more revved up for a longer period throughout the day, meaning that even once you’re resting, you’re still burning more calories than you would be if you had just ran a few miles.
So the next time you’re staring at that dreaded treadmill in the corner of your apartment or gym, consider turning away from it and sprinting as hard as you can for thirty seconds or so! Work like your life depends on it, then relax. You’re going to get more benefits out of it than you ever imagined with your traditional boring cardio workout, and you’re going to have more fun doing it. Leave that treadmill sitting in your dust.