HIIT girl!

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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!

 

 

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13 thoughts on “HIIT girl!

  1. Doing any form of cardio outside DOES feel much better than being on a treadmill, I tend the find the atmosphere and fresh air helps but I tend to be the same, I enjoy weight lifting (my mother would make me say different!) she used to make me run with her and it killed me.

    • It must be so much better for you psychologically, there’s just something about being active outdoors huh?! Doing a lifting post tmo…gotta even the playing field 😉

      • Haha! I try and even the playing field but at the moment I’m trying to gain muscle weight so the more mass I put on the harder a treadmill feels 😛 I’m quite happy to do weight lifting indoors but if I do cardio I keep questioning whether if this is what hamsters feel like. Awesome stuff will look out for it 🙂

      • Hahaha what hamsters feel like! Brilliant! I’ll think of that next time I hit the treadmill! I have the same problem with flexibility, I love yoga but am trying to gain muscle mass ATM and lifting is interfering with my flexibility. Cardio I’m just lazy with, I don’t get the same mental achievement from it as I do in the weights room

      • I worked with a personal trainer in my old hometown when I went to see family and he made me do some dynamic stretches before doing squats with a bar and a kettlebell and truth be told it killed me! I’m very well aware I’m quite kyphotic with how my shoulders droop forward but these stretches showed me how unbelievably stiff I was but afterwards it felt a breeze dropping a squat or clean and pressing a kettlebell so please keep up with the yoga and do some dynamic stretches (ones that mobilize your hips) it’ll really help even when you do heavy loads. Btw I had a back injury last year and my fiancee made me do some yoga with her, I’ve got a lot of respect for women and even more so after my first yoga session!

      • That’s great advice, thanks I will try that! Ahahaa yep, it can be tough! I’m always surprised at how much stronger yoga makes me, particularly upper body. It actually really helps with lifting form too.

      • Stretching really prepares your muscles for lifting, especially the heavy weights. Technically when you lift a heavy weight you cause micro tears on your muscles and when your body repairs them they build them bigger to cope with the stress they were put under (bigger muscles!) but some people won’t stretch at all and expect to lift heavy and then pull something which puts you off for weeks so that yoga is doing you good! I’ve read various articles that say that stretching, yoga etc can help ease DOMS and help with muscle repair. Make sure if you’re putting mass on you’re eating enough 🙂 sounds horrible to say you need to eat more doesn’t it?

      • It’s great for DOMS, I try to make sure I schedule leg days before yoga days! I’m trying carb cycling at the moment, I log all my food on MyFitnessPal to check I’m hitting my macros (wasn’t eating enough a few months ago) and pack most of my carbs around my workouts. I think not eating enough is where most women go wrong…alongside not lifting!

      • I totally agree, that’s part of my mission. When people decide to lose weight they go from extreme over eating to extreme under eating, at this stage when you do feed yourself your body goes into hunter gatherer mode “Wow! I haven’t eaten in ages so I’ll store this food in my fat stores” It’s sad because a lot of people believe fad diets and regimes in newspapers, magazines etc but like you just said doing resistance training raises your metabolism 🙂 I hope in time I can help people out on here and in essence find my feet with the personal training! I know what you mean with leg days 😉 driving home is always feels like the first time you jumped in when you were learning haha!

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