Time is probably the biggest hurdle we all face when it comes to adopting a healthy lifestyle. The most frequent question I get asked by clients is how much time I spend a day or week working out. I realize a lot of people have this misconception that you can only lose weight and get fit by spending hours upon hours in the gym on a treadmill. The most common excuse I hear from clients is simply “I don’t have enough time” to fit exercise into my schedule.
Not only do I not have the time to spend hours at the gym anymore, I’ve learned that there’s no added benefit in doing so. I am a full time working mom to a 2 year old with a husband who also works full time and travels occasionally for his job. If I manage to get a 30 minute workout in 5 days out of the week, I call that one hell of a win!! Again, most of us are not looking to rock a killer spray tan at the next figure competition. You can get great results with these shorter workouts in less time than you think.
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a way to exercise in the most efficient and effective way possible. For those of us who struggle to fit exercising into our day, this is the answer you’ve been looking for!
HIIT training is simple - you do an exercise at high intensity (>8/10 exertion) for a short period of time (20-30 seconds) then rest for a slightly longer period of time (40-60 seconds), and then repeat the interval. You can pick pretty much any exercise or group of exercises that get your heart rate up to a level of breathlessness in that 20-30 second period. You repeat the work/rest cycle for at least 10 minutes for a full HIIT workout. When you include a 5 minute warm up and cool down, your workout can be under 20 minutes.
So why is this so effective? Your body favors burning fat stores for fuel in higher intensity exercise keeping your metabolism elevated, and you continue to burn calories for hours after your workout is over. So why spend those extra hours in the gym on a treadmill when all you need is 20 minutes to accomplish the same thing at home? You can always grab a couple weights or add extra rounds to increase the challenge!
Because HIIT training places a lot of stress on your body, it is recommended to limit these workouts to 2-3 days a week. I always recommend grabbing some weights for the other 2-3 days or other lower intensity exercise. Instead of focusing on how LONG you have to workout, focus on how HARD your workouts are and exercise smarter.
The next time you consider stepping on the treadmill, try this HIIT workout instead:
Complete 2 rounds straight through - 20 sec work/10 sec rest
Alternating Jump Lunge
Pike Push Up
Cross Body Mountain Climbers
Plank to Push Up
Body Weight Squats
Check out my standard no equipment plan for 3 more workouts like this. Find me on Instagram (@rxchic17) and Facebook to stay in touch!