Cardio… that little 6 letter word that many of a dread! Well, I know I do. I spent a year doing endless hours of cardio to try and achieve my desired results; I was indeed a cardio bunny, but I still did my weights as well. But with working full time, running a second business and trying to live a healthy life, who has time for hours upon hours in the gym? Well, let me tell you there is another way.
A lot of you are as busy as I am, and that's why Body By Nina is perfect. If you struggle to fit everything into your day, the workouts in Body By Nina allow you to get the most 'bang for your buck', and the cardio will give you results without taking up too much of your time... How?
Well, three years ago I was introduced to HIIT style cardio training. So what is HIIT do you ask?
HIIT is short for High-Intensity Interval Training. This is where you choose an exercise to perform such as, running (I like hill sprints), sled pushes, stair sprints, bike, elliptical, rower, the list goes on, but it's anything where you can work as hard as you can to get your heart rate up.
There are many interval time and rest options, but the idea is that you sprint as hard as you can (and I mean give it everything you've got!!!) for a short burst (for example 20-30 seconds). Then you'll take a rest or active recovery for a slightly longer period (such as 1 minute or 1.5 minutes).
This will allow your body to recover enough so that you can go as hard on your next sprint interval again. HIIT training is underestimated so let me tell you why I love including it in my program.
Nobody wants to spend hours working out, and you should not need to. That's where HIIT training is great to throw into your routine. With short bouts of intense exertion followed by a rest period, it can take from as little as 10 minutes to be effective. All you need a minimum of 5 intense intervals to start.
Remember with HIIT training it’s the harder you go during your intervals that counts. The work per interval is what will give you more benefits and more optimal results rather than be adding more intervals to your session to begin with.
As you become fitter, you can challenge yourself by adding one interval at a time.
More fat burn
High-intensity bouts of exercise will not only make you burn more fat during your workout compared to that of steady state cardio. The exercise sends your body into an oxygen debt. This is the amount of oxygen needed to ensure your body can repair back to its normal state. This need for a longer repair process means you will continue to burn more fat for up to 24 hours after your workout.
Studies have shown that HIIT training increases HGH (human growth hormone) production for up to 24 hours after your training session. HGH is responsible for repair and will also increase lipolysis (fat burning). HIIT is also, believe it or not, anti-aging.
This is because HGH slows down the aging process so you will reap the benefits from the inside out
Mix it up
As I mentioned earlier, the options for HIIT training are endless. You can continue to mix up your sessions because if you are anything like me I get bored easily.
But even better, the change to your sessions will continue to keep your body guessing and also continue to challenge you in each session.
You can add HIIT in ANYWHERE even in your lounge room with some plyometrics, so there is no excuse for getting your short little burst of cardio in a couple of times per week.
New to HIIT training?? That’s ok let’s start with this workout!
- Warm up for 5 minutes skipping, walking, jogging on the spot, jumping jacks, mountain climbers. Any of these is great, you can use all or only one of them.
Then choose your sprint! I prefer a steep hill or stairs...
- Sprint for 20 seconds as fast as you can
- Walk back to your starting point for 1 minute 40 seconds. This means on each 2-minute mark you will start your sprint.
- Perform 8 sprints in total
Then take 5 minutes to walk and cool down.
This will take you 16 minutes of working time. That’s it!
That’s a total of 26 minutes including warm-up and cool down. And YES, that is all you need!!
Now, ready, set, GO… You Got This!!
If you want more versatile at home or in the gym workouts, make sure you take a look at my program Body By Nina. You'll get a 4-week training program and meal plan that is flexible and can be done anywhere that suits you!
As much as skipping ropes, treadmills and elliptical can be great for HIIT training you really don’t need any equipment at all to get the job done. You can incorporate hill sprints, flat sprints, plyometric or any jumping movements that are going to force your heart rate up. So there is no excuse to skip your HIIT workout just get outside and get that intensity going.