Your favourite new work­out takes no time at all

Sharp - - CONTENTS - By Kath­leen Trot­ter

HIIT your fit­ness stride with high­in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing.

YOU’VE STREAM­LINED your morn­ing meet­ings to a three-minute walk-and-talk. You can get the kids washed and fed and out the door in 15 min­utes flat. You have achieved In­box Zero. We’re say­ing you’re ruth­lessly ef­fi­cient — ex­cept, for some rea­son, when it comes to ex­er­cise. Carv­ing out the time on your cal­en­dar to get to the gym is one thing. But then what? You don’t al­ways have two hours for a de­cent sweat ses­sion, and that ca­sual 20-minute jog around the weight ma­chines isn’t re­ally cut­ting it any­more. The an­swer is high-in­ten­sity in­ter­val train­ing.

HIIT, as the pros call it, is a work­out of short, high-oc­tane bursts of ef­fort al­ter­nated with low- to mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity work. This pat­tern places a high meta­bolic de­mand on the body and burns lots of calo­ries in a short amount of time, while also help­ing to im­prove your fit­ness level and in­crease the work­out’s EPOC (ex­cess post-ex­er­cise oxy­gen con­sump­tion). In other words, in­ter­val train­ing amps up not only your ac­tual work­out but also your post-work­out calo­rie burn.

As a re­sult, HIIT work­outs are ex­tremely ef­fi­cient. They’re also more in­ter­est­ing than tra­di­tional work­outs (and we all know bore­dom is the kiss of work­out death). The ver­sa­til­ity means you never have an ex­cuse to skip train­ing; al­most any­thing — from run­ning to swim­ming to squats to jump­ing jacks — can be turned into a HIIT work­out.

Here’s how to get started.

First, a Note of Cau­tion

In­ter­vals are hard on the body. They re­quire slight “over­reach­ing,” which is a good thing only if you give your body the time and tools it needs to re­cover. On days you do HIIT, pri­or­i­tize nu­tri­tion, sleep and self-mas­sage with a foam roller or stretch­ing. Cap your HIIT work­outs at 30 or 40 min­utes and never do in­ter­vals two days in a row. Also, be mind­ful of your own fit­ness level and know your lim­its. Puk­ing sucks.

What You’ll Need

HIIT is ex­tremely mal­leable to your lo­ca­tion and equip­ment — you can truly do these work­outs any­where. At the gym, do in­ter­vals on a car­dio ma­chine or do time-based strength sets. At home, do body-weight ex­er­cises such as ply­o­met­ric squats, jump­ing jacks or burpees. At the cot­tage? Use the lake, go for a run or jump rope on the dock.

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