Time. It always feels like there is never enough. In my world of international terminals, departure gates, never ending night-shifts and some serious jet-lag, finding time to sleep, eat well AND exercise is always a challenge. But since ramping up my High Intensity Interval Training (HiiT) sessions, it’s certainly become that little bit easier to fit in my workouts and my bod is loving me for it.
HiiT sessions are basically shorter, smarter workouts that can make you skinnier….
Yes. You read that correctly: shorter, smarter workouts that can make you skinnier. No longer do we need to spend hours on treadmills, cross-trainers and in classes to get the body of our dreams. HiiT is fast and furious sessions that alternate some seriously sweaty bursts of intense working-out with periods of rest. They usually last between 4-30 minutes, can be done without any equipment whatsoever (although it does help), and have been proven to be a more efficient and effective way of burning fat!
I love lifting weights and resistance work outs, but I have about as much muscle mass as I want right now. I tend to get a bit Madonna-ey if I lift too much. But while my torso leans, shreds and sculpts, my arms tend to get a little scary and my rear remains. There is some serious booty muscle in there, I can feel it, it’s just shrouded in a generous layer of jiggle that sort of slides down the back of my legs and around the sides of my thighs. However, since I’ve started focusing my gym sessions on HiiT it seems that my rear has started to disappear! The proof is in my fave pair of black skinny jeans that I shimmied into the other day having not been able to wear them for years… That was all the evidence I needed to sign up to The BodyRock latest Summer Body Challenge to ensure that I’m looking my absolute bikini bestest by the time I go on my La Dolce Vita-Moon to Lake Como in a few weeks. Cue: short-shorts, Vespas, bikini baking and Aperol spritzers with Aurelio, Alessandro, Adriano et al…. *sighs*… But enough of my day dreaming! I know what you really want is the goss on what makes HiiT truly Holistically Haute, so here it is:
It’s efficient. Who doesn’t have 4-30 minutes that they can squeeze into their schedule?! You don’t even need to go to the gym. The first BodyRock challenge I ever did, I didn’t once step foot inside a gym. Instead I completed a months worth of daily workouts in my bedroom, in hotel rooms (using my cabin bag as a weight), and at local parks. The promise of a such a short workout is surprisingly motivating – even on days where I felt less than enthusiastic, I’d tell myself it’d be over in 8,10,12-minutes and I’d have done my exercise for the day. Then, more often than not, once I had my gym gear on, had warmed-up and completed the workout, I actually felt pumped to do more so I’d repeat one of the sessions or go for a power-walk thereby enhancing my workouts and helping me to get the results I wanted faster.
It’s effective. HiiT revs up your metabolism and — even though the workouts are short — you actually continue to burn long after your workout is finished. This is known as the Afterburn Effect and is what I kind of like to think of as working out without even having to work out. Plus, due to all the amazing scientific stuff that goes on in your bod when you HiiT it, you actually target fat cells as opposed to all your hard-earned muscle. So say ‘Hello’ to long, lean legs and a defined derriere!
It’s inexpensive. Actually, it’s free if you sign up to any of the basic BodyRock challenges, so you don’t need worry about expensive gym memberships or personal training fees, and while having some basic equipment and adding weights does help get results faster, there are plenty of equipment-free exercises you can do. You’ll find though, that once you’ve got the hang of HiiT-ing it, you’ll be craving the extra challenge and you’ll be surprised at the equipment alternatives you’ll find lying around your house or, in my case, in hotel rooms.
It makes you immortal… Well… almost. HiiT is an intense cardio vascular workout that promotes strength, speed, power and a healthy heart. Plus, regular, solid HiiT sessions have been shown to increase levels of a stash of hormones known to help slow the ageing process. A healthy heart, a healthy mind and a rocking’ bod helps you keep the wrinkles at bay while paving the way to becoming a seriously sexy, silver-fox in the future.
It’s versatile and never boring From Tabatas to AMRAPS (as many reps as possible), Insanity to BodyRock and dead-lifts to sprints, there are several different styles of HiiT training and literally thousands of different exercises you can do. I find participating in programs and challenges helps me to stay focused and on track, and every day they throw something new into the mix so I never, ever get bored. Breathless – always, but boring… never!
So Hotties, now there’s no excuse not to get HiiTing it! Maybe you’ve tried it before or are you going to? I’d love to hear what you think.
image: Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia via wearesodroee.wordpress.com