The days of 60-minute workouts to get results are long gone. Today there is an entire body of evidence saying you can get the same results in a fourth of the time. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACMS) how effective your workout is less about how long you work out and more about how hard you push yourself. If you have 15 minutes to break a sweat you can lose weight and lean out.
HIIT Me With Your Best Shot
Rated as one of the top fitness trends for 2014, high-intensity interval training is a series of all-out bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. For example, as quickly as possible (keeping correct form) you complete 40 seconds worth of push-ups followed by 20 seconds of rest. You repeat each round 3-5 times within the 15-20 minutes. The idea is you are absolutely exhausting your muscles, getting your heart rate up, and burning max calories in a short amount of time.
HIIT style routines can focus on strength, cardio, or both. When you talk about a cardio-focused HIIT routine you may hear the term “Tabata” tossed around. This is simply a sub-group of HIIT training and follows a 20/10 pattern: 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes.
What’s the Science Say
HIIT is not just an anecdotally effective exercise routine, there’s science behind it. A study conducted in 2008 found that women who participated in a supervised HIIT program lost an average of 4.3% body fat; not just weight, but actual fat from their body! This was compared to a group who worked out at a more moderate pace for longer periods of time, and the HIIT group was significantly more successful.
Is It Right For Me?
Regardless of where you are in your fitness journey, this workout is ideal. Aside form the health benefits mentioned above, when you aim for 15 minutes of high intensity training you are getting:
- Max results in minimal time
- A hard-core workout
- A full body routine
- The most bang for your buck in terms of efficiency
Stop reading, and lets get moving!