Workout on le Fly: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

5 Aug

I consider myself to be a bit of a workoutaholic.  I love to run, I adore my classes; basically I’m happiest when I’m moving.  I’m still working on the rest day thing – it’s mentally difficult for me to take a day off, but it must be done. Obvi.

Why the love affair with getting sweaty? Oh…where to begin.

1. No matter how much or little sleep I get, it wakes me the hell up. I sweat, my heart rates up -> I’m awake. Yeehaw.

2. Exercise keeps me calm + improves my focus. I can be a little bit of a spazz and I can also be a lot bit of unfocused.  If I can get a good solid run or sweaty class in before work, I know I’m setting myself up to be calm, collected, and razor sharp for the day.

3. I love being strong – physically and mentally. Pushing through a workout translates very literally to other areas of my life.

When all these are in place, my mind and body feel happy and healthy. It’s my drug of choice.

Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way and I just can’t seem to find an extra hour to dedicate to my workout. I’m quite sure you can relate.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is  my go-to on the days that carving an hour out of my schedule just isn’t gonna happen.   HIIT workouts rock my world because it only costs me 20 minutes, but they’re always longest freaking 20 minutes of my day. Maybe even my week! It sounds lame but I’m telling you it’s no walk in the park.  Back to the upsides though cause there’s another one – HIIT will melt, your.

So what is HIIT, exactly? Since I’m not a trainer, I’m going to quote one:

“Basically HIIT workouts are a version of cardiovascular training that uses alternating periods of high intensity work with maximum effort followed by periods of lower intensity work.”

Well that’s not exactly rocket science. In layman’s terms: run normally for one minute. Then run like you stole something. Repeat.

I suppose I should be more specific.

After your warmup, you’ll work out at an average effort level for a minute (about a level 5-6 on a scale of 1-10), and then bust your you know what for a minute, at a level 8 or 9. You’ll alternate between these two states for 20 minutes

If you want to further research online you’ll notice there are several alternate ways to perform this and different variations depending on your experience level. For instance, I have seen suggestions for beginners to start at a level 5 for 2 minutes and a level 8 for 30 seconds and gradually work up to a minute on, a minute off.

The chart below is a good reference point but those aren’t hard numbers, Listen to your body – whether a “level 5” for you is running at 4.5 mph or 7 mph, do it. And you know what it feels like to workout at a level 8 – you don’t need to follow the numbers below. Be honest with yourself.


Looks pretty simple right? Tell yourself that again when you’re wiping your sweat off the treadmill.


2 Responses to “Workout on le Fly: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)”

  1. Maryam August 5, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    awesome! im gonna try this today :o)


  1. Six (Gimmick-Free) Ways to Fire Up your Metabolism | Legwarmer Nation - December 3, 2013

    […] High Intensity Interval Training, simply put, it working alternating between bursts of balls-out sprints followed by periods of recovery, rather than at a steady pace. It fires up your metabolism all day long, and according to Shape Magazine, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. […]

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