Most people believe that you need to be in the gym at least an hour to get a good workout session in. But this isn’t completely true. Have you ever heard of HIIT? … It stands for high-intensity interval training.
Yes, they are intense but they are also quick and can come in handy if you find yourself with little time to spare for a workout session.
HIIT can last anywhere from 4min to 30min max depending on your choice of exercise. The beauty of this is that you do not need a gym or weights to get one of these exercises in for the day. Another thing to keep in mind is that you will continue to burn even more calories after you are done working out.
Now let’s get into these fast fat burning exercises!
What Are HIIT Exercises?
HIIT stands for “High-Intensity Interval Training”.
The easy way to put this is by imagining yourself jogging down the street and every 10-20 minutes you would stop and catch your breath and let your heart rate cool down before resuming your jog. HIIT is the complete opposite of this. The goal is to keep your heart rate up by intensifying your workout.
Now imagine yourself sprinting 25 yards and only taking 1-3 minute rest periods before you begin your next 25-yard sprint. You repeat the process about 3-5 times and by the end of your workout session, you may feel like a fish out of water gasping for air!
Can you see the difference now? HIIT is basically reducing your rest periods to make your workout more intense. The more intense it is the more calories and fat you will burn after your workout. Your body will continue to burn calories up to 24 hours after completing your workout. This happens because your metabolism gets elevated for a long period after a HIIT workout session.
In short, it is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise that alternate short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less recovery time between exercises. This type of training can be done with or without weights and can be done just about anywhere at home, in the gym, park, beach, you name it! All you need is a bit of room you can get a quick HIIT session in.
HIIT vs LISS
LISS is the opposite of HIIT. LISS stands for “Low-Intensity Steady State”.
Think of LISS as jogging. When people jog for exercise, they are jogging in a steady state never really increasing the intensity of their exercise. Therefore you will still burn calories and it will help you build endurance but you will not burn as many calories as if you were to do a HIIT cardio session.
LISS is actually what I would recommend getting used before you move on to HIIT. It will help you build a good foundation for endurance before jumping into HIIT. Especially if you haven’t been really active over the years or just starting off. Going right into a high-intensity workout can be overwhelming for some and if not too careful you could even harm yourself.
If you are a beginner and have no prior experience start with low-intensity steady state cardio like jogging, cycling, swimming, or walking. Therefore you can start to increase intensity over time when you find your current LISS workout is becoming too easy.
It’s very hard to say how long you should stay with LISS before moving on to HIIT because everyone has a different level of endurance. All I can say is listen to your body!
If you feel like your endurance and body are established enough to move onto high-intensity cardio then go ahead but do not overdo it when begging HIIT.
The 4 Minute HIIT Workout
This is one of my favorite HIIT workouts to do when I’m done lifting weights to activate the afterburn effect (continue to burn calories up to 8-24 hours after exercising). I do not do it every time I’m done lifting weights. It just depends on how I’m feeling, my current goals, or if I am in a hurry and do not have time to go to the gym.
Before you start I would advise you to have a stopwatch handy or use your smartphone for a stopwatch. If your phone does not have one built into the software go into the app store and download one.
Here is a quick rundown on how I approach this workout:
- Make a list of 4 exercises
- Set your stopwatch to count down from 4 minutes
- Start your stopwatch
- Wait after the first 10 seconds to do your first exercise
- Start 1st exercise for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Start 2nd exercise for 20 seconds
- Rest 10 seconds
- Start 3rd exercise for 20 seconds
- Rest 10 seconds
- Start 4th exercise for 20 seconds
- Rest 10 seconds
- Repeat step 5-11 for a 2nd round and then stop
Your timer should be going off to let you know the 4 minutes are up after your 2nd round. At this point, you will feel your heart pumping and be out of breath. Here is a link to see this workout in action.
Usually, I keep my 4 choices of exercises the same for this workout. I will change them now and then but here is how I approach the 4 minute HIIT workout:
- Wait after timer counts down the first 10 seconds
- Exercise 1: Jumping Lunges x 20 seconds
- Rest 10 Seconds
- Exercise 2: Jump Squats x 20 seconds
- Rest 10 seconds
- Exercise 3: Burpees x 20 seconds
- Rest 10 seconds
- Exercise 4: Push Up’s x 20 seconds
- Repeat the process for the 2nd round
Give it a try and feel the burn guys! It’s not easy at first and you may find it difficult but you will feel great after doing it. For those of us who are starting HIIT and looking for a quick workout to get into, this will work wonders. Remember you do not have to do the same exercises I do when it comes to this. Those of us who may find this to challenging consider the following exercises.
Here is a list of exercises you can choose from to create your own 4 minutes HIIT workout:
- Jump Squats
- Super Jumps
- Push Up’s
- Jumping Lunges
- Leg Raises
One thing I want to mention is to not be too hard on yourself if you can’t complete this 4 minute HIIT workout without taking very small breaks within the 20-second workout period.
Especially in the 2nd round where it really gets tough. You will build yourself up to the point where you can do this workout with a breeze.
When that happens it probably best that you choose a different set of exercises to keep your body guessing so you do not plateau. Better yet do a completely different HIIT workout. Push yourself to a 10-15 minute HIIT!
Pros & Cons of HIIT
- Improve Cardiovascularly
- Improve Insulin Sensitivity
- Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors
- Time Efficient
- Improves Vascular Function
- Continue To Burn Calories 8-24 Hours After Exercising
- Burn More Calories In Less Time
- Increase in Metabolism
- Helps Maintain Muscle Mass
- Can put excessive strain on the body if you do not have a solid training foundation behind you.
- Can lead to overtraining if not careful
- Can lead to injuries if someone pushes themselves too far
- Not recommended if you have no prior fitness experience (usually not for beginners)
Remember to always consider what physical condition you are in before attempting to increase your intensity in any exercise. If you become aware of how your body responds to stress for certain exercises the better off you will be.
For example, if you start jogging and you run out of breath very quickly then maybe you should start off by walking or power walking. For someone who has bad knees and can’t jog, ride a bike around for an hour or two to build some stamina and endurance. From there work your way on up to HIIT.
Becoming aware of your physical condition, endurance, and stress on your body is very important. Not only will it keep you from overtraining yourself but it will help you become more aware of your own well-being.
I hope you enjoyed this information and if you got some value out of it comment below!
My Fast Fit