Feel Great · Fitness

“HIIT”-ing the Gym

Spending less time at the gym doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing fitness if you know how to workout the “right” way. People often associate losing weight and burning calories with cardio exercises like running; however, it is scientifically proven that steady cardio even for a long period of time does not burn as many calories as high intensity workouts for 20 minute periods.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), also known as Tabata training, is one of the most effective workouts for losing weight, getting in shape, and burning calories. The basic HIIT workout is a four-minute burst that includes 20 seconds of high intensity and a resting period of 10 seconds. You then repeat this four-minute cycle around eight times for a workout that is 32 minutes total. The best part about a HIIT workout is that it you can design it according to your own fitness level and strength. You can adjust the four-minute workout cycles to maybe five or seven minutes and include a variety of exercises, ranging from high knees to push ups. The workout choices are endless as long as your circuits include a high intensity exercise period and a resting period.

Although the benefits for HIIT workouts are endless, it is also crucial to do exercises that are suitable to your own fitness level. HIIT workouts are challenging and have been proven to increase performance and burn more calories, but they are only suggested for those who are already at a certain fitness level. Although these short and effective workouts sound like a very convenient method to get fit, the high intensity exercises do include a higher risk of injury. Therefore, it is very important to design your circuits according to your own fitness abilities and gradually increase the intensity as you go. Also, a warm up like a five-minute walk on the treadmill and a long stretch as a cool down will help prevent injury during your exercises, as well as decrease soreness and stiffness later on.

As college students on a tight schedule, HIIT workouts might be the perfect workout method for you to get fit and stay healthy.

By Tammy Hong