Over the past few years there has been a steady rise of people taking part in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and with several influencers dominating the space, such as the Body Coach and Clean Eating Alice, it is hard not to take part in a session or two.
Studies show that just 15 minutes of HIIT training burns more calories than jogging on the treadmill for an hour. This type of training involves intense bursts of exercises followed by short recovery periods. The best thing about this kind of work out is that you can moderate it to suit your needs, abilities and is adaptable to complete anywhere and at anytime – so no need for expensive gym memberships if you don’t want them.
Three years ago, I was not savvy when it came to different exercises. Don’t get me wrong, I was always at the gym sweating it out, but in regards to anything other than cardio – I was clueless.
I then joined what was then known as Regiment Fitness, who provided outdoor boot camp sessions, and started to learn more about different exercises, using equipment and body weight.
When my place in the London Marathon was confirmed I stopped my boot camp membership to focus on my running and as a result my strength has deteriorated. Now, my situation has changed and I can no longer make the boot camp sessions. Therefore, recently I have started to take the matters into my own hands and put together my own HIIT work out.
Downloading an app that times my sessions I have been picking a couple of high intensity exercises to alternate. This week I have been combining the work out with my usual cardio sessions – running 3 miles outdoor (because I refuse to ever run on the treadmill), then 10-20 minutes on the stair master at the gym, followed by a 15-20 minute HIIT work out using a variety of equipment available at my local gym – Xercise4Less.
My favourite this week – the battle ropes. Often thought as a tool to tone the upper body, they also work abs, backs and glutes. If you include jumps, lunges and squats then using this piece of equipment can work the legs too. And it is indeed a workout. Combining the battle rope (alternative waves) with sand bag squats or skipping with kettle bell swings have made me work up as much a sweat as running. Working a 30 seconds on each exercise for 10-15 rounds means that I was soon out of puff and once the work out was done I certainly felt that I had worked. I have had that dull post exercise ache all week – which made running up hills this morning incredibly difficult – but makes you feel that you have worked hard.
So, I am going to continue over the next weeks working on varying the exercises – perhaps using more of the battle ropes (they have always been my favourite) and re build my strength.
I thoroughly recommend others to give HIIT sessions a try. You don’t need equipment or a gym membership, so fit it into your day.