I Can do Anything for 20 Minutes: My First HIIT Experience

“I can do anything for [insert timeframe here].”

This is one of the mantras I’ve said over and over again to myself during my all my races. It’s what got me through the last leg of my marathon (“I can do anything for another hour.”) and what I say in any less-than-ideal situations (ie. a long flight or a doctor’s appointment). And so is the theme for HIIT—high-intensity interval training.

HIIT is a growing fitness trend, and after trying my first HIIT workout last night, I can understand why.  I’m sure many of you have done it already, but I’m new to the scene. And I have to say, after completing this routine, I’m hooked. Side note: To get a full workout in, I’d pair this video with a 30-minute run or do these circuits twice through.

I’m the type of person that if I don’t leave a workout drenched in sweat and out of breath, I don’t feel like I made good use of my time. I blame it on being a runner. HIIT gets your heart pounding right away. You give it your absolute all for a certain period of time (usually 30 seconds or less) and then take a quick break before doing it all again. Because these high-intensity intervals are paired with quick breaks, it’s good for your ticker.

Here's a HIIT workout I plan to try later this week.  Source: popsugar.com
Here’s a HIIT workout I plan to try later this week.
Source: popsugar.com

Why else do I love it so much?

I can do it in my apartment. Guys, this weather is starting to wear on my gym motivation. And after a long day at work and an even longer commute home, the last thing I want to go is leave my home again to fight the cold and snow. Plus, there’s usually no equipment involved with HIIT—just your body weight. But that doesn’t mean it’s not VERY challenging (can you say tricep pushups with a kick-back?)!

It’s quick. In the summer when I want to go outside and run, I want to dedicate most of my time toward that, not lifting weights at the gym. So this workout is the perfect supplement to the cardio I love to do so I can still get strength training in my weekly routine. Which leads me to…

It builds muscle. One of my goals is to not necessarily lose a ton of weight, but to tighten up. But I’ve always struggled with building muscle, because frankly, it’s not as fun to me as some cardio (running, spinning, etc.). I want buns of steel, ya catch my drift? HIIT is the perfect combination of cardio and strength training.

So I’m off in search of other HIIT workouts to fill my schedule. Have you tried HIIT? If so, what workout is your favorite?

Right now, I’m in the process of building a “30 before 30” list with some of my friends. I’ll be sharing some of my to-do’s next week … stay tuned!

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