HIIT – Do You Have What It Takes?

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We all fondly recall Arnold Schwarzenegger’s line in the 1977 documentary “Pumping Iron” about having no fear of throwing up or fainting in the gym. To put everything into that set, rep after rep, “no matter what happens.”

One method of testing your endurance and strength levels is by implementing high-intensity interval training, better know as HIIT. Years ago, there was something called circuit training and it was based on a similar idea – do a series of exercises with little-to-no rest in between sets. When performing HIIT, it is more of a cardio-based workout than the old circuit, which was performed on an assembly line of machines. (For those forty-something’s, Jack LaLanne gyms utilized Nataulis machines for these.)

Take the Stairmaster, for instance. You can walk for an hour at the same rate of speed or you can spend approximately 15 minutes by changing speeds at certain intervals. Start off with a warm-up at a moderate level (5 or 6) for 2 or 3 minutes, making sure that your legs are limber and the blood is flowing. Then up the level to 10 and do a solid minute, take it down to 7 or 8 and do 30 seconds.

Keep this up until you reach a level of 15 for the 1 minute and minus the level 3 or 4 notches for the 30-seconds. Pyramid this back down to level 10 (for the minute) and 7 or 8 (for 30 seconds). A cool down for 2 or 3 minutes back where you started at 5 or 6 will be your finish line.

Now that is merely one example of how you can utilize HIIT to get in a quick and difficult cardio session and save yourself 45 minutes.