High Intensity Interval Training
(short – hard – intense – time effective – not for the faint hearted)
So this focuses much more on quick short intense bursts of activity. Hopefully you will know that this therefore uses the anaerobic system (see my circuit class discussion). This pushes your body and when you work at this rate, you need a break. This should not be maintainable. If you don’t….you’re working in the aerobic system – which is fine! You just are not getting the benefits of the work out. This is why it is not for beginners or for the faint hearted, as you will have a trainer that is pushing you and trying to motivate you to go harder.
The interval system means that you will work for 20-50 seconds at high intensity as the title quite clearly reflects – and then you have a short rest before you go again.
This idea can be done with any exercise and can even be done with running if you are trying to improve you speed for example.
There are normally fewer exercises involved in a HIIT class but you will really feel it!
An example of a HIIT workout would be:
20 seconds exercise - 10 seconds rest
Exercise 1 – Lunge – knee pick up
Exercise 2 – Burpees
Exercise 3 – Squat jumps
Exercise 4 – sit up – stand up
This would be repeated 4 – 5 times and then a one minute rest.
The timings/exercises/rest periods can be altered but your trainer will be clear about the expectations and will show you how to do everything.
A full body workout – very good for those with little time. But also very good if you want to really feel the workout. Circuits are great if you are motivated to push yourself – but with HIIT there is less of an option to relax as it much more fast paced.
All levels (yes - really - there is an easy version of a burpee!)
Apparently Circuit Training was developed at the University of Leeds in 1939 by Morgan and Anderson – how very proud are you British people!?
Traditionally 9-12 stations where people can work at their own level (see Science said it too!)
Ultimately this is an aerobic activity (similar to going for a run) as you can not endure really heavy weights or involve a person specific training system per station, so you are getting an all over body work out by pushing your body aerobically, increasing the amount of oxygen in your body so your heart and lungs work harder and burn calories you intake from food. Aerobic exercise is great for getting better at your exercise Endurance – so you can go further and for longer, you will lose weight, but this is better for someone who is beginning exercising or is not used to it. If you already walk around a lot in the day and enjoy a long walk at the weekend, you do need to step things up a little!
This stepping up is working anaerobically, which is where you are exerting yourself to the point where you are actually using energy in the body that is specifically for your muscles, not just your food/calories and fat stores. Anaerobic exercise is at a higher intensity than aerobic and involves your muscles needing a break after you’ve worked at this level for around 40 seconds. They need to recover and get rid of waste products that are produced in this energy system which is done magically, back in aerobic activity!
You probably can push into the third energy system (creatine phosphate) which is related to power and strength specifically (Think Ussain Bolt 100m or an Olympic weight lifter), but this is not maintainable. By mixing up the aerobic and anaerobic systems, you increase your body’s ability to develop your muscles by using oxygen and your bodies energy systems more effectively. The anaerobic system targets your muscles more specifically and this is where you get toning!
The good and bad thing about circuit training is that it NEVER GETS EASIER.
Sorry... but instead – YOU GET BETTER!
As you come back to circuit training you will notice if you do it regularly, you will be able to push yourself! Moving from press ups on the knees to one or two full press-ups, then a few more a few weeks later. And this, my fit friends is why I say that there is an easy burpee….and one day, you will enjoy them! (Yes I do – again, sorry).
Circuits can be made up of any exercise and can be made up in many different ways – this is what some people like, that it’s changeable but predictable as well.
An example of a circuit would be:
50 seconds of each exercise – 10 seconds rest/move to the next station
Exercise 1 – Jumping jacks (variations available for all exercises)
Exercise 2 – Mountain climbers
Exercise 3 – Press ups
Exercise 4 – Squat and high pull (with kettlebell)
Exercise 5 – High knees
Exercise 6 – Burpee
Exercise 7 – Tricep dips
Exercise 8 – Ab Crunch
Exercise 9 – Side Plank
As you can see – a mix of all muscle groups.
As you go around the stations adaptations can be made, intensity and time can be altered and this will keep you on your toes!
Come and have a go! I won’t hurt you I promise! (Remember the pain the next day is your muscles repairing!)