Sometimes it’s good to change up your workout. Your body gets used to the same ol’exercises and when your brain and muscles know exactly what to expect your results can plateau.
I’m not a big fan of cardio, I prefer strength training because I feel a greater sense of achievement in lifting weight and find it easier to set myself goals. I try to do around 60-90 minutes of cardio a week, including one HIIT session (High Intensity Interval Training).
HIIT burns major calories, keeping your metabolism going at a faster rate for longer than steady state cardio. Rather than going for a long run, HIIT requires short bursts of sprinting as fast as you can (for 60-120 seconds) followed by 3 mins of slow jogging or walking. You can do the same on a bike or cross trainer. Other benefits include greater lung capacity, lowering rested heart rate (and better physical fitness levels) and better protection of muscle tissue than a long, slow run can provide.
There is no debating that HIIT is a killer, there really is nothing like it for making you sweat. BUT, if you’re short on time and looking to lose weight, cut or improve fitness levels and cardiovascular health, you can’t beat it. You can get a decent HIIT workout done in 20 minutes, which is major motivation for cardio-haters like me!
I’ve been trying to find more interesting ways to incorporate HIIT, as I’m fed up with treadmill sprints. Earlier today I legged it up St Catherine’s Hill, Winchester, using the steps as my sprint (a stairway to hellll), collapsing at the top, sprinting round the hill while trying to distract myself with the view and continuing this pattern on the way down. It took 30 mins altogether and was so much better than gym-based cardio. It was great being in the beautiful Hampshire countryside, breathing air which wasn’t plagued with other people’s sweat…Speaking of which, next week I’m trying a spin class…gotta keep this HIIT varied!