How to HIIT your workout!

I recently sent this email to a friend who is trying to get in shape. He’s changing his diet (most important step) and wanted a fitness routine that he could stick to!

This is an edited version of what I sent him, just in case anyone else can benefit from it…

High intensity interval trainings (HIIT) are short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest. These short burst boosts your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), the hormone that keeps you young! That’s just one of the benefits, others include boosting weight and fat loss, improving strength and stamina, and overall improving your health : )  Many studies have shown that HIIT is the ideal form of exercise. And the great news is…it usually takes less than 20 minutes!

There are many variations of high intensity interval training. The one my family (even my 68 year old dad!) and I have been doing is 20 seconds of exercise, then 20 seconds of rest. I pick 6 exercises and do each one 3 times. The total time from start to finish is 12 minutes! And, you are really only working out for 6 mins, because half the time you are resting! Sweet! But…because of that, you really have to push yourself to the max for the 20 seconds on!
I am following the guidelines from MaxT3, the workout portion of Maximized living. They have a CD you can purchase that explains all this in more detail and has a bunch of workouts to follow.

You can start out by downloading a free timer app. I use this one:
I set it to beep every 20 seconds for 36 rounds (18 of those will be rest periods).

I do a few minutes of warming up then choose 6 exercises. I like to split it up and do arms, legs, and core all on separate days. That gives the other parts of the body time to rest and recover.

Some examples of leg exercises: Squats, walking/standing lounges, calf raises, good mornings, jumping knee slaps, step or jump ups, etc.
Some examples of arm exercises: Pull-ups or jumping pull-ups, push ups, dips, presses, curls, etc.
Some examples of core workouts: Sit-ups, sissor kicks, bicycle, straight leg raises, roll ups, jack knives, etc.

If you are not familiar with some of the moves from my list, watch a quick youtube video explaining how to do it. You will be going fast and working hard so having the correct form is important. If you cannot do one of the exercises, just replace it with a different one, the possibilities are endless!
If you are just beginning, I wouldn’t use weights, but as you progress, can can add them in. I would also not push yourself too hard as you will probably be sore enough from just starting a routine. As always, listen to your body.
I do this workout wherever I am and I don’t usually have any equipment except for a workout band that is convenient for travel and can be used for alot of different exercises (mostly arms). One is banded pull aparts, where you hold the band with two hands, and just pull apart. It sounds easy, but tiring after 20 seconds of high intensity pulling!  I also use whatever is available for weights; water bottles, laundry detergent bottle, cans of soup, etc.

So…when are you going to start? Today? : ) Tomorrow? It only takes 12 minutes! That’s my favorite part of it! Many people take that long just to drive to the gym!

After a workout, I reward myself with a delicious shake made with whey protein from grass fed cows, unsweetened almond milk, and usually chia or hemp seeds.
There is an exercise recovery phase of about 2 hours after your workout and you should be aware of what you are eating and restrict your sugar intake. Mostly because if you have too many carbs, your body will releases the hormones called somatostatin and that in turn will shut down the production of HGH. You want that wonderful hormone to be circulating in your body for the full 2 hours! The higher levels of HGH in your body, the healthier and stronger you will be! And after the age of 30, your levels of HGH begin to drop pretty dramatically, which progresses the aging process. So…just another reason to commit to 12 minutes of a high intensity workout and avoiding sugar for 2 hours afterward.

I would always recommend  avoiding sugar (except some fruit) and those foods that turn to sugar (bread, rice, pasta) but that is a subject for another day! : )

Good luck in starting or switching up your exercise regime! I’ll be rooting for you my friends!

I tried to keep this short and sweet but here are a few links if you are interested in learning more:

*I am not a certified trainer or nutritionist, I am just sharing what I have learned and experienced over the last few years.

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