Some women see HIIT (high intensity interval training) and immediately run for the hills, thinking it’s too advanced or too intense for them to do. But the nice thing about HIIT is that it is different for everyone. In other words, your level of high intensity is not necessarily everyone else’s level of high intensity. Your starting point is a reflection of your own personal level of fitness — not that of your friends, family or personal trainer. So while you may not be able to go as fast or as hard as someone else, you can still get a great workout that reaps the same great benefits. Even better is the fact that HIIT workouts can often be done at home!
Here are 3 HIIT workouts for three different levels of fitness:
1. BEGINNER HIIT WORKOUT
Equipment: Stationary bike, elliptical machine or treadmill
Ratio of work to rest: 1:3
Duration: 8-10 minutes
Directions: Choose whatever piece of cardiovascular equipment you prefer and go all out as fast as you can for 15 seconds. Back off on the intensity and go at a normal pace for 45 seconds. Try repeating this for 8-10 sets. If you find it is too easy, you can either increase your working time, decrease your resting time or add resistance or speed to whatever exercise you do. Looking for more beginners' exercises? Click here!
2. INTERMEDIATE HIIT WORKOUT
Equipment: Jump rope
Ratio of work to rest: 3:1
Duration: 10-15 minutes
Directions: Now that you're past the beginner stage, you can decrease your rest and add more work time. Grab a jump rope and jump for 40 seconds. After that, take a 20-second break and then go again. Try doing this for 10-15 rounds. You can make the jump rope more interesting by jumping side to side or doing little ski jumps, bringing each foot forward every time you land. If you’re really up for a challenge, try to get a few double-unders where the rope does two complete rotations for every one jump.
3. ADVANCED HIIT WORKOUT
Ratio of work to rest: 2:1
Duration: 12 minutes
Directions: You’ve now graduated to the top of the HIIT food chain. Congrats! That means the intensity is going to be high-charged. You will do three exercises for 20 seconds at a time with only a 10 second rest before going again. This will be done for a total of eight rounds. This is known as Tabata training. The exercises you are using are burpees, mountain climbers and squat jumps. After you complete your eight rounds of burpees, rest one minute and then go to the mountain climbers and do the same 20/10 cycle for eight rounds. Rest one minute and then finish off with eight rounds of squat jumps. To make any of the exercises more difficult, be sure to hit your chest to the floor on the burpee and get very low on your squats before you jump.
Here you have three different levels of HIIT workouts. Don’t be afraid to try one of the modifications to make it more difficult! You may be surprised just how quickly you are moving up the HIIT ranks once it becomes part of your regular workout routine. Happy HIITing!