Got a high stress job that keeps you cooped up within the office? Or are you simply busy raising a young baby or children at home? Whatever the case may be, you may be feeling frustrated and concerned that you are unable to focus on building and maintaining your physical health as you simply just do not have the time. Well, my friend, do not worry. It is a technologically enriching time where you have access to all kinds of information at your fingertips. All you have to do is log online and look up what to do in such a situation. That is probably what brought you to our page in the first place.
Congratulations, you are in the right place as we have a brilliant solution for you. Heard of HIIT workouts?
High intensity interval workouts may just become your new best friend. These intense exercise routines, as the name denotes, are short, fast paced spurts of physical activity combined with short pauses for rest. This class of workout boosts your body’s metabolic rate and allows it to keep burning calories up to 48-72 hours later.
The beauty of this workout regime is that if you wish to engage in it, usually you do not need any fitness equipment to get you started. You can also do it anywhere and save a lot of time in the process. It actually tends to burn body fat more efficiently than traditional cardio workouts. Of course, as you perform it at 85%-90% of your maximum heart rate it will require you to get some rest in between and just do it one to three days a week. High intensity interval workouts can be modified for all possible fitness levels. You see it does not matter whether you are a beginner, an intermediate or a seasoned workout addict, just do it as per your body’s comfort level, but do not forget to push yourself a bit more each day.
There is a spectrum of energy to pause ratios that you can start off with that allows it to be classified as HIIT. For instance, if you choose to ameliorate your aerobic fitness, you can go for a work to rest ratio of 1:2 or 1:1. What does that mean? This simply implies that if you exercise for 30 seconds, you rest for 30 seconds. Also, if you’re doing an anaerobic training for better results and more stamina, you can go for a 1:5 ratio. This means that you can work out for 15 seconds and rest for 75 seconds to maximise your results. Just remember that if you’re new to the world of exercise, do not go for 100% capacity, try to start with 60-70% of your heart’s capacity and do 10-15 minute exercise routines.
Here are some of our favourite quick, yet effectual high intensity interval workouts to help get you started:
A barbell complex is simply a routine of compound exercise movements using just one single barbell. Choose five to six barbell exercises that you enjoy doing or want to master and get started. You can choose from a range of exercises such as overheard presses, floor deadlifts, floor barbell bench presses and stiff legged deadlifts. Remember, there is no dropping the bar! You rest when you hear your timer ping, but give it all you got otherwise!
Once you have jogged to warm up, sprint as swiftly as your body allows for fifteen to thirty seconds. Then, walk or lightly jog on the spot in the form of active rest for one minute. Engage in this sprinting high intensity interval workout routine for ten or so rounds to truly benefit from its impact.
This is fairly simple, all you have to do to activate your muscles is to move the ropes at a super-fast pace or as quickly as you possibly can. As a result of this movement, your heart rate will automatically begin to rise. You can use the ropes by swinging your arms up and down or go side to side. Change it up with each sequence so you do not get bored. The trick to this exercise is to always keep your back straight and to remain in a low, seated steady position with your knees bent. As is always the case with high intensity interval routines, workout with 80-90% of your maximal heart rate for a period of twenty to thirty seconds and rest for one minute or less if you are in fairly good physical shape. Repeat as many times as you like.
What Else Can I Do?
These are just a few examples you can consider. There is a lot you can do, especially if you have a gym membership or you can just buy one. Got a love for spin bikes? Cycle as fast as you can for 20-30 seconds and then rest for the same amount. Repeat this about 10 times and enjoy building your leg muscles. You can also always just go for simple bodyweight exercises. For instance, here’s a routine to try out:
- Trunk twist 25 reps per side
- Arm circle 15 reps per leg
- Toe touch 10 rep
- High knee 30 reps per leg
- Side lunge 20 reps per side
- Walking lunge 20 reps per leg
- Side bend 15 reps per side
- Butt kick 20 reps per leg
Never forget to warm up! You can jog for a minute, do high knees, jumping jacks, squats, lunges etc., whatever tickles your fancy and make sure to stretch out when you are done.
Okay, so you are making all this effort, but what should you be eating when trying to build up muscle and burn body fat?
Nobody is telling you to give up carbs you just need to try to choose carbs that are good for your body, such as wholegrains and avoid the ones that build up starch and store fat. Lean proteins are the most important part of your meals. You see, once you smash that HIIT workout, your body will need to re-energise. Eating a balanced meal will help your muscles to recover and break down fat. Try to make your plate as colourful as possible by choosing different vegetables, fibre and protein to simply balance your meal out. That way you can your intake of carbs as well as other healthy food groups into your body.
Here are a few meal ideas to help you get started:
- Grilled chicken with mashed potatoes
- Brown rice with beef curry
- Egg white omelette with a side of fruit or sweet potato
- Steak with egg and baked potato
- Whole grain pasta with minced meat
Get creative and have fun whilst cooking. Another tip is to try and prepare your meals in advance, so you are not tempted to junk out. When you know you have healthy food waiting for you in the fridge, it will cut back your craving. Best of luck!