In today's fitness world, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a very popular cardio methodology. I recently performed a cardio medley workout that utilized HIIT principles and mutliple machines.
HIIT is an exercise strategy that involves short training sessions that involve intervals that are done at a certain ratio. The original protocol called for a 2:1 ratio for recovery and work periods. As an example, a HIIT workout would involve 30 seconds of hard sprinting and 1 minute of walking (recovery).
HIIT generally involves a warm up period followed by 6 to 10 intervals followed by a recovery period. The work intervals should be done at or near maximum intensity. The recovery period should be roughly 50% of the work interval.
Why HIIT Works
There have been numerous studies on this HIIT protocol. One particular study by Gibala concluded that 2.5 hours of HIIT was equivalent to 10.5 hours of endurance training. A study by King shows that HIIT increases resting metabolic rate (RMR) and may improve maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 Max) more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts. This all means that HIIT should burn fat even after the workout is complete. Yes, long steady state cardio will burn more total calories, but HIIT will burn more fat in the long run.
Cardio Medley Workout
As mentioned previously, I recently did a cardio medley workout. My purpose was to find a HIIT workout that could be done on the step mill. The workout itself was great. It involved a warm up, a cool down and 3 levels of intensity (moderate, somewhat hard, and hard). The workout lasted 46 minutes in length. Here is the workout itself:
|5 minutes||Treadmill||Warm up||4-5|
|4 minutes||Step Mill||Somewhat Hard||7-8|
|2 minutes||Step Mill||Somewhat Hard||7-8|
|4 minutes||Elliptical||Somewhat Hard||7-8|
|4 minutes||Treadmill||Somewhat Hard||7-8|
|6 minutes||Step Mill||Moderate||5-6|
|5 minutes||Any Machine||Cool down||3-4|
|*Perceived Exertion is a 1-10 scale|
This was a great 46 minute workout that I would recommend you try. It gives you variety (different machines) as well as varied intensity throughout. Pay attention to the perceived exertion level because it is where you are going to make or break your workout.