HIIT, otherwise known as high-intensity interval training is a fantastic way to tone up, lose weight and reach massive milestones in your health and overall fitness. High-intensity interval training sessions aren’t for the faint at heart, though: they are fast paced and results driven—so if you’re ready for a great workout, you’ll achieve a great outcome. Here’s what you need to know as a beginner.
Don’t Be Timid—Just Dive Right In
If you haven’t worked on in a while and feel like you have some pounds to lose, high-intensity interval training is a perfect choice. Because you’re constantly moving (and quickly, from one exercise to the next), your body will be challenged which means you’ll expedite your weight loss. Because it’s not low impact and can be intense (you’ll get your heart rate going within the first minute), it’s so important to listen to your body. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to make progress—however, if at any point you’re feeling lightheaded or dizzy, push back.
Always Start With a Warm-Up
As a beginner, you’re going to move your body in ways that you haven’t in years—or maybe ever. That’s why it’s so important to warm-up for a few minutes prior to a HIIT workout. This will help you to prevent injury. Get on the treadmill and walk at a brisk pace for a few minutes, or jog in place for a minute. Standing in place, circle your arms with a back and forth motion, and follow that by stretching all of your main muscle groups in a sitting (or standing) position for a remaining couple of minutes.
If high-intensity interval training is the workout, then metabolic conditioning is the rule. Metabolic conditioning, which is a series of full-body workouts designed to maximize the number of calories burned, will allow you to make more progress in less time. Sounds good right? Do the following (one right after the other):
woman doing squats and exercising outdoors• Squats
• Jumping jacks
• Sumo squats (make sure that your weight is in your heels to avoid an ankle injury)
• Jumping jacks
• Push-ups (it’s ok if you can’t do a traditional push-up at the beginning. You can always modify by placing your knees on the ground and ‘pushing up’ from that position, or ‘pushing up’ from a counter, bench or chair.)
• Lunges
• Tricep dips
• Jumping jacks
• Tricep dips
• Wall sits (bend down as though you’re sitting against a wall and hold that position for 30 seconds.)
High-intensity interval training is a fantastic way to not just lose weight and gain strength but to increase your energy. Start off easing into it, ask questions from someone who is experienced, and remember: you’ve got this! After just one workout, you’re officially fitter than you were before you did it.