Two months ago, I started doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes to try to improve my fitness and actually push myself, because one of the pitfalls of working out by yourself is not pushing yourself. Every time, I get my butt kicked in HIIT class. But overall I hadn’t noticed any significant change.
Until this week.
This week I went jogging like I normally do. When I jog, I do just that — jog. I don’t push myself. I just run up and down the street to get my heart rate up and get a little cardio in. Well, when I took a look at my heartrate report, I noticed something — I hadn’t hit peak heart rate the entire time I was jogging — I was in cardio the entire time. That’s when I knew; I knew HIIT classes were working.
Needless to say, I’m super excited. Not excited that I’ll have to push myself on my jogs now, but excited I’m improving. I’m itching for 5k season to come around, so I can really test HIIT classes and see if my 5k time has improved and I start winning more 5ks. Because, despite working out by myself, it is all about winning — no matter what I’m doing.
I just did a HIIT (high-intensity, interval training) workout for 90 minutes today at Orange Theory Fitness and got my butt kicked. I ran almost 5 miles at different intensities, and then had to row and do dumbbell moves afterwards. By 1 hour and 20 minutes, I was done. I was barely moving. I’m pretty sore now already.
WHAT’S A HIIT WORKOUT?
HIIT workouts are high-intensity interval training workouts designed to increase the
body’s need for oxygen and create an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery. This afterburn effect is referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts.
Over time, high-intensity workouts can increase your VO2 max, or your body’s ability to use oxygen for energy. This translates to better endurance, which leads to more energy and the ability to sustain more work for a longer period of time.
Working different aerobic systems improves endurance while building stronger fast-twitch muscle fibers, which can help deliver that final kick needed to finish strong. Working out at 70 percent to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate will deliver the greatest EPOC effect.
However, recovery is important. We only get stronger when we recover, and it can take 24 to 48 hours to fully recover from a high intensity interval training workout.
WHY YOU SHOULD TRY HIIT WORKOUTS
Increase your metabolism to burn more calories faster and longer
Increase your VO2 max to increase endurance
Force yourself outside your comfort zone to do things you otherwise wouldn’t
Increase performance across all sports
I can tell you right now I would never have done this on my own. The advantages to working out in a class setting is you do do things you otherwise wouldn’t. It was fun. I got an amazing workout. I burned 741 calories. And I feel great! I can’t wait until my next class!