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The One Thing You Can Do to Optimize Your HIIT Workout

With just a few short bursts of high intensity with periods of rest, you can see more results in less time than most workouts. Yes, high-intensity interval training can seem like a workout gift from the gods. Even better, HIIT workouts apply to cycling, swimming, weight training, bodyweight exercises and even walking.

Promising major results in little time, it’s true that HIIT may seem too good to be true. But if you’re not seeing results, you’re not the only one. The biggest caveat of HIIT is that the intensity really has to be high.

“For HIIT to be effective, you have to exercise at a challenging intensity. You need to be working hard-to-very hard during the hard bouts in order to put the correct and effective challenge on your cardiovascular system,” explains Dr. Len Kravitz, an exercise scientist at the University of New Mexico. “Often, people get the work-to-rest ratio right and it seems like what they’re doing is a HIIT workout, but what they’re doing isn’t intense enough during the high-intensity part,” explains Jason Loesch, a personal trainer and co-owner of the Minneapolis-based Hell Bent Fitness.

YOU MUST NAIL THE INTENSITY

The efficacy of HIIT training hinges on achieving an EPOC state which stands for “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.” According to the ACSM, the high-intensity intervals should clock in at “80–95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate, the maximum number of times your heart will beat in a minute without overexerting yourself.”

Loesch explains that “you can think of it as oxygen debt. [After a proper HIIT workout] your body is basically running on an oxygen debt, trying to catch up with the lack of oxygen created by the training. It’s because of this debt that you continue to burn calories for somewhere between 24–48 hours after a HIIT workout.”

FIGURING OUT THE INTENSITY

Kravitz explains that your maximum heart rate can be ‘estimated’ by using the formula: 220 – age = maximum beats per minute. For example, a 40 year old would have an estimated maximum heart rate of 180 beats per minute, calculated by subtracting 40 from 220. Therefore, the 80–95% recommendation for this person would be between 144–171 beats per minute.

For those who have a heart monitor or another way to measure your heart rate as you work out, you’re all set. If you don’t, Loesch’s approach is a less complicated one: “You should have a hard time completing an entire sentence when you’ve finished your interval. When I’m working with people, I like to talk to them afterwards, and if they’re able to finish a full sentence, I know they’re not pushing themselves hard enough.”

On the flip side, it’s possible to overdo it. “I see a lot of people going too long on intervals. One minute is way too long. You could probably push it up to 40 seconds, but I’d keep it in the 20–30 second range and even shorter for a sprint. It’s about intensity not endurance,” Loesch adds.

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HIIT for Beginners Week 3: Kickboxing Intervals

WELCOME TO HIIT FOR BEGINNERS!

Today’s session features a kickboxing-inspired interval training session that can easily be done in a small space at home. In the workout video below, we’ll perform a few rounds of intervals that alternate between periods of higher intensity with active rest, and we’ll review proper punching form and technique as we go — no previous kickboxing experience is required. I’ll show you both high- and low-impact options so you can make the moves work for you. Listen to your body throughout the sessions, and modify or skip any moves that are too much for your current fitness level. (I’ll also provide options throughout the routines to help you make it work for you.)

HIIT FOR BEGINNERS WEEK 3: KICKBOXING INTERVALS

This workout can be logged as “Calisthenics” in your MyFitnessPal app.

Tell us when you’ve completed this week’s workout. Share it in the comments below, or tag us in your check-ins @MyFitnessPal so we can cheer you on!

Here is your Week 3 Workout Schedule:

Day 1: HIIT for Beginners: Kickboxing Intervals

Day 2: Total-Body Strength Training (try this 30-minute session)

Day 3: Active Rest Day

Day 4:  Moderate-Intensity Cardio (walking, cycling or try this steady-state session)

Day 5: HIIT for Beginners: Body-Weight Strength Circuit

Day 6: Stretching or Flexibility Work (try this 8-minute total-body stretch)

Day 7: Active Rest Day

Looking for a full at-home program that includes everything from high-intensity interval training to total-body strength training, brain fitness, prehab exercises and more? Check out “Walk STRONG: 6 Week Total Transformation System!” This balanced program has everything you need to succeed, including online support and accountability. Save 20% when you use the exclusive MyFitnessPal promo code “3Z74EZAT” at checkout on Amazon.com.

The post HIIT for Beginners Week 3: Kickboxing Intervals appeared first on Under Armour.

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HIIT for Beginners Week 2: Bodyweight Strength Circuit

WELCOME TO HIIT FOR BEGINNERS!

Today’s session features a body weight-only interval training strength circuit that can easily be done in a small space at home. In the workout video below, we’ll focus on multimuscle moves designed to bring your heart rate up while also building strength and endurance. Listen to your body throughout the sessions, and modify or skip any moves that are too much for your current fitness level. (I’ll also provide options throughout the routines to help you make it work for you.)

HIIT FOR BEGINNERS WEEK 2: BODY-WEIGHT STRENGTH CIRCUIT

This workout can be logged as “Calisthenics” in your MyFitnessPal app.

Tell us when you’ve completed this week’s workout. Share it in the comments below, or tag us in your checkins @MyFitnessPal so we can cheer you on!

HERE IS YOUR WEEK 2 WORKOUT SCHEDULE:

Day 1: HIIT for Beginners: Body-Weight Strength Circuit

Day 2: Moderate-Intensity Cardio (walking, cycling or try this steady-state session)

Day 3: Active Rest Day

Day 4:  Total-Body Strength Training (try this 30-minute session)

Day 5: Stretching or Flexibility Work (try this 8-minute total-body stretch)

Day 6: HIIT for Beginners: Walking Intervals

Day 7: Active Rest Day

Looking for a full at-home program that includes everything from high-intensity interval training to total-body strength training, brain fitness, prehab exercises and more? Check out “Walk STRONG: 6 Week Total Transformation System!” This balanced program has everything you need to succeed, including online support and accountability. Save 20% when you use the exclusive MyFitnessPal promo code “3Z74EZAT” at checkout on Amazon.com.

The post HIIT for Beginners Week 2: Bodyweight Strength Circuit appeared first on Under Armour.

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HIIT for Beginners Week 1: Walking Intervals

WELCOME TO HIIT FOR BEGINNERS!

Today’s session features walking-based interval training that can even be done in a small space at home. In our workout video below, we’ll alternate periods of higher intensity with active rest to help you make the most out of your workout time and build up your fitness level. I’ll show you both high- and low-impact options so you can modify. Listen to your body throughout the sessions, and modify or skip any moves that are too much for your current fitness level. (I’ll also provide options throughout the routines to help you make it work for you.)

HIIT FOR BEGINNERS WEEK 1: WALKING INTERVALS

This workout can be logged as “Calisthenics” in your MyFitnessPal app.

Tell us when you’ve completed this week’s workout. Share it in the comments below, or tag us in your checkins @MyFitnessPal so we can cheer you on!

HERE IS YOUR WEEK 1 WORKOUT SCHEDULE:

Day 1: HIIT for Beginners: Walking Intervals

Day 2: Total-Body Strength Training (try this quick, beginner-friendly workout)

Day 3: Active Rest Day

Day 4: Moderate-Intensity Cardio (walking, cycling, or try this steady-state session)

Day 5: Total-Body Strength Training (try this quick, beginner-friendly workout!)

Day 6: Stretching or Flexibility Work (try this 8-minute total-body stretch)

Day 7: Active Rest Day

Looking for a full at-home program that includes everything from high-intensity interval training to total-body strength training, brain fitness, prehab exercises and more? Check out “Walk STRONG: 6 Week Total Transformation System!” This balanced program has everything you need to succeed, including online support and accountability. Save 20% when you use the exclusive MyFitnessPal promo code “3Z74EZAT” at checkout on Amazon.com.

The post HIIT for Beginners Week 1: Walking Intervals appeared first on Under Armour.

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