If you want a debriefing on my most recent stance on endurance cardio versus high intensity intervals, check out this post:
Once you understand how useful HIIT training is for fat loss, read about the following routines that you can use to burn fat and get in awesome cardiovascular shape.
Obviously if you are not use to high intensity intervals, don’t just jump right into spending a half hour a day running interval sprints. There are some other options to get you started. Any type of calisthenic circuits can prepare you to start interval training. Jumping rope, tabata squats, jump squats, cycling, rowing, running up a hill.
Choose your interval length wisely as well. Novice sprinters should start with 5 second sprints and increase gradually.
This is a routine you can use as soon as you are comfortable sprinting. I hadn’t done an ounce of cardiovascular training in a year, and I performed this workout on my second cardio session back in the game. It was a little rough at the end, but it was worth it.
The total training session, consisting of 18 total sprints and 9 minutes of abs training, should take between 20-25 minutes including stretching.
This HIIT routine is suitable for almost anyone. It is a little easier than the routine above, because there is a bit of extra rest involved once you get past the third sprint.
The total training session, consisting of 18 total sprints and 9 minutes of abs training, should take between 23 and 30 minutes including stretching.
You really need to adapt your training instinctively based on how you feel. If you throw up or pass out, you are training WAY too hard! Seriously, it might seem “cool” to train until you toss your cookies, but it’s not. That is your body telling you that you are pushing it too hard. Trust me, I’ve been there several dozen times. If I feel like I’m going to be sick, I either slow way down or stop completely for the day. Training til you hurl stresses out your nervous system, increases cortisol, catabolizes muscle tissue, ruins recovery, and is just generally not good for you. Plus it makes you not want to perform that same exercise ever again.
The smartest way to train is within your limits.
Now, obviously running sprints is the most effective form of interval training. Research shows us that other exercises like cycling are just not as effective. But take caution not to try running sprints until you personally are ready. Also be careful running on the treadmill, at full speed, too soon. Get some experience first, then progress in intensity accordingly.
Feel free to modify the length and intensity of your intervals as well. Medium intensity intervals are a better start point than going out and walking for an hour every day. Studies show that medium intensity intervals still have a significant effect on body composition when compared to endurance cardio.