By Sam Davis, BHS, CPT, FNS
If you’re even remotely interested in fitness, you’ve probably heard about high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Some people avoid HIIT because they fear the high intensity. But, it doesn’t have to be done with exercises that are difficult. That said, as the name suggests, in order to get the full benefits of your quick 20-minute fat-torching session, it has to be intense—and it needs to be done right. So, how should you structure your hotel and home HIIT workouts?
We love HIIT training because, unlike more redundant cardio exercises for fat loss, it is a quick and effective way to work out anywhere in the world. You don’t need equipment, and you don’t need a gym—which leaves you with no excuses, no matter where you are! And with HIIT training, you’ll continue to burn calories at an accelerated rate post-workout.
High-intensity interval training is a type of training that involves going all out for a short burst of time. After you complete 30-90 seconds of your exercise, you take a brief moment to recover and bring your heart rate down. Then, you do it again, and again, and again for 20-30 minutes.
HIIT combines two of the best fat-burning methods: maximum oxygen use and maximum effort. Multiple studies show that HIIT workouts burn more calories both during and after exercise. More calories burned equals more fat lost—gotta love that!
During HIIT, you’re pushing your body extremely hard (to 70-80% of your maximum heart rate), so you’ll experience a muscle burn that comes from a build-up of lactic acid. As the oxygen in your body becomes depleted, it forces your body to work a bit longer to build those stores of oxygen back up. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Your body is building these stores back up for 16-24 hours after your HIIT session, which burns those extra calories.
And because of the intensity of HIIT workouts, there’s a significant increase in fat-burning hormones within your body—hormones that are activated when the body is stressed. These hormones help mobilize the body’s fat stores so they can be used as fuel.
1. Quick and effective
2. You might find HIIT more enjoyable than steady-state, long-distance cardio
3. Burns belly fat effectively
4. Builds a stronger & better heart
5. Causes fat loss with minimal muscle loss
There are many options when it comes to picking out your exercises for your HIIT workouts. Just remember: when you’re doing these exercises, you need to have an all-out mentality. If you choose high knees, for instance, you are not jogging; you are sprinting, driving those knees up as high as possible and pumping your arms just as hard. Really push for those 30-90 seconds. If you’re thinking about taking it easy or slacking halfway through your set, just think about all the fat burning you’re missing out on!
Here is a list of exercises to choose from. Go for 30-90 seconds exercise intervals (depending on your fitness level), followed by 30 second periods of rest. Choose 5 exercises, and complete 5-8 rounds each.
All of these exercises may be done at the gym, in your hotel room, or at home. Give hotel and home HIIT workouts a try and stay on track with your fitness routine.