What HIIT Workouts Mean For YouSo what do these results mean for you? Good question. If you love your workouts and you're happy doing what you're doing, please don't change a thing! If, however, you're a bit frustrated in your attempts to get longer workouts in, then maybe HIIT is a good solution for you. The HIIT training takes a LOT less than 40 to 60 minutes of steady state training, and more and more studies (albeit small ones) are showing that the bang for your buck is nearly identical. It appears working out as hard as possible for very brief periods of time is actually great for your body. The most important factor for all of this is determining what balance is right for you. I am just starting a running program and will be doing a lot of steady state runs. I'll also be doing my usual twice a week Pilates (about 50 minutes of weight training, which sometimes edges up into low level cardio), but I also plan on doing my 10 minute HIIT blasts on days that I'm too busy to do anything else. And no, there is absolutely not one single excuse available for skipping a 10-minute workout ... unless you're sick enough to stay home from work or school. For me, looking at HIIT workouts as legitimate required a lot of research and reading as well as letting go of old ideas. I was so locked in from my heavy cardio days where you needed at least 30 minutes -- and more like 60 minutes -- to get a "good" workout in. The idea that 10 minutes is truly enough is kind of amazing. If you're thinking about giving HIIT a try here are a couple of caveats:
- Intense training can be rough on your joints. Make sure the moves you're doing are easy to perform and are something that you can execute safely. Otherwise, don't do it!
- Intense means intense for you. As long as you're huffing and puffing and frankly uncomfortable, then you are doing the level that is right for you. I personally push myself until I'm heaving a lung and almost nauseous by the third or fourth round ... that's plenty hard for me.
- Figure out a mix of steady state and HIIT workouts that work best for you. The HIIT junkies still recommend one steady state session per week for overall cardiovascular health ... But the steady state junkies might see improvements with just one HIIT workout per week. So experiment until you find your mix.