Interval training is all the rage now, and for good reason! It helps you burn more calories in less time (love this), helps improve your speed and endurance and recent studies have shown it can actually reduce belly fat (double love this!). High Intensity Interval Training (or HITT as it’s sometimes called) is a full body cardio workout and involves alternating short bursts of super intense work with a low intensity recovery. These intervals are usually performed in a 2:1 ratio so for example, 20 seconds of work followed by 40 seconds of rest and repeated for 9-20 minutes. However, you can take these intervals up to about one minute long just make sure the work interval is very hard since one thing that sets HIIT apart from other interval training programs is the short duration and high intensity of the intervals.
I’ve taken several HIIT classes and I also happen to teach one. One of my student’s favorite classes involves a 5-10 minute warm up (since the intervals are so intense I like to make sure everyone is totally warmed-up for the class) followed by 4 / one minute intervals with 90 second recoveries using jumprope, burpee, alternating front kicks and shuffle intervals. Then we move onto 4 /:45 second intervals with one minute recoveries using mountain climbers, high knees, flying lunges and squat jumps and finally 4/ :30 second intervals with :30 second recoveries using wide knee run, air jacks, hitch kicks left leg and hitch kicks right leg. If the class really wants to turn it up I’ll add 30 second relay sprints between the interval groups. This workout usually burns 550 calories in about 40 minutes.
I’ve taken HIIT classes that alternate one minute of intense cardio like sprints on the bike or jump squats with one minute of full body strength training like pushups or squat presses. The class lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and makes a nap afterwards absolutely necessary.
- HIIT training is so demanding and intense that it’s proven to change your body and lower your body fat composition. You become a fat burning machine and if that’s not reason enough to try it then I don’t know what is!
- Flat abs and a strong core
- Plyometrics like jump squats will tone your legs and literally lift your butt inches higher
- If you incorporate pushups and burpees get ready for ripped arms and sculpted shoulders
WHAT I LOVE
- This workout is short and flies by which I love since I’d rather be catching up on my Bravo TV than spending all day in the gym.
- The intensity means you get an after-burn so you’ll burn and extra 100 calories trying to decide if you’re on team Teresa or team Caroline and wondering what happened with Dina…?
- Pushing yourself past your comfort zone is always a rewarding experience. You’ll feel tough and like you can overcome anything after one of these classes or workouts.
- Get out the skinny jeans because 2-3 of these workout per week will have you tight and toned in no time!
Every celeb does this kind of training…Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Jessica Biel, Giuliana Rancic, every Victorias Secret model, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna and Beyonce to name a few. If you see someone who has a lean toned body I bet they do interval training!
THAT’S WHERE IT’S AT
My HIIT class is at the University of Washington Intramural Activity Center so (bummer) you have to be UW student or staff to take it…but if you live in Seattle I’d give these a try…
Club Zum in downtown Seattle: The class is called Hard Core
David Barton Gym in Bellevue: The class is called Melt
Elite Fitness Bellevue: Drop in Bootcamp Class on Sunday mornings at 9am or Wednesdays at 1pm.