H.I.I.T Me Baby! A Guide to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

4 min read

Hey everyone! I hope you are working your tails off to make sure you achieved all your goals for 2009! It’s almost time for a new year and a whole new set of resolutions! As for me, I got some amazing news this week—I was selected to receive a sponsorship for 2010 with professional suit designer, Tamee Marie of Go Figure Suits! I will be wearing her custom made designs exclusively in 2010! I am so thrilled and can’t wait to step on the stage next year in her gorgeous couture bikinis!

Now that the holiday season is upon us, many of you will be indulging in the festive foods of the season—pumpkin pie, turkey, Christmas baking, holiday beverages…November 26th to December 25th is like one whole month of celebration…a sheer calorie fest! If you want to obtain a toned, sexy body, all this celebration means is that cardio becomes a necessity to combat those indulgences. This week, my blog entry will focus on cardio, specifically a very effective form of cardio called HIIT or high intensity interval training!

Recently, I got the following question from a fan on Facebook:

Question: How much cardio do I need to do? I read somewhere that you physique competitors do more than two hours of cardio every day! Is that how much cardio I need to do to lose the last ten pounds of bodyfat??

Answer: It’s true that we competitors do a lot of cardio to prepare for a show. But you must know that we only do that much cardio in the last 6 to 8 weeks prior to a show and we usually split the sessions up into two-one hour steady state cardio sessions daily. You must remember that when an athlete competes in a physique contest, our bodyfat levels must be very low to show muscle tone and definition. For me, I do much less cardio in my off-season or the time in between show preparation. I, just like many of you, have the commitments of daily life to keep up with. I balance an exciting career, a wonderful family and my fitness and doing 2 hours of cardio a day just isn’t practical for me…or anyone for that matter. I have to get in and get out and time management is key for my hectic lifestyle. Because of this I have recently incorporated a type of cardio called HIIT. To stay toned, I usually look to perform cardio 5 days a week. HIIT cardio has you performing an all out, balls to the wall interval followed by a short active recovery period and repeating this for a maximum of 25 minutes. You can perform this cardio session on a treadmill or stepmill. I actually prefer to do this type of cardio outside on the track, but living in the Midwest, I am only able to use great outdoors as my gym in the spring and summer! What I love about HIIT cardio is that you can actually perform LESS cardio and achieve better results.

So why is HIIT cardio better for fat loss than steady state cardio? Typically we have relied on the assumption that long bouts of steady state cardio, performed at 60-70% of your maximum effort were most effective for fat loss. Although this method definitely works, we’re talking about how to get the most out of your time here. If fact, some recent studies have shown that HIIT cardio could even be the superior method of fat loss cardio. This is due to the fact that these short bursts of all out exercise can ramp up your metabolism for up to 24 hours after the workout. This means you burn more calories during the day. Wow! Less time on the treadmill AND a greater calorie burn throughout the day? Awesome! Another added bonus of HIIT cardio is the stimulation of your body’s own natural human growth hormone or HGH. HGH is a muscle-building, fat stripping chemical produced in the body. The production of HGH slows in adulthood but performing HIIT can stimulate it’s production helping you to achieve that lean, toned body that you desire!

So, are you ready to try some HIIT? Below is the Perceived Exertion scale that you can use to gauge the intensity of your workout. In order for your HIIT sessions to be effective you must focus the entire workout on how hard you are working. That means no reading a magazine or watching TV! As you get fitter, your level 10 will become a much faster pace than when you initially start training with HIIT.
Perceived exertion scale (treadmill/stepmill):
1- Minimum effort: Yawn!
2- Turtle paced walking/stepping
3- Faster walk
4- Faster walk
5- Moderate effort: Walking/stepping briskly, but still able to carry on a conversation without being out of breath (this might be a jog for some people)
6- Faster, start to run
7- Running/fast stepping at a steady pace
8- Faster run
9- Faster run
10- Maximum effort: Holy crap, my legs are going to fall off!!!

Begin by warming up for 5 minutes at level 5 on the perceived exertion, or PE scale. At minute 5 crank up the intensity to a speed where you are working at a PE of 10, for 30 seconds. You want to feel like you are working as hard as you can. After 30 seconds, slow the pace down to level 5 on the PE scale and recover for 90 seconds. Continue these intervals until you have completed a full 25 minutes (including your warmup).

Here is an awesome energy boosting protein shake to give you that extra pep in your step for your HIIT cardio:

Level 1 Mocha-Delight Protein Shake

10 oz chilled coffee
8 ice cubes
1 scoop of Level 1 Milk Chocolate protein
¼ cup fat free, sugar free jello pudding mix
2 packets of splenda
Blend all ingredients in a blender or magic bullet and enjoy with a small piece of fruit before you hit the gym!

I hope you enjoy this workout! I’m always interested to hear how my workout tips work for you. Email me at Gillian.Risebury@1stphorm.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/jillian.amy1 and share your progress with me and I will send you a free sample from the 1st Phorm product line!

♥ Gillian

The post H.I.I.T Me Baby! A Guide to HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) appeared first on 1st Phorm.

1st Phorm Athlete Gillian Risebury
1st Phorm Athlete Gillian Risebury

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