In their quest to lose weight, millions of people jump onto the treadmill, and then proceed to mindlessly pound away and tune out. The truth is that most of them are getting nowhere, literally. Not only are they physically staying in the same place, but their weight doesn’t seem to budge or their fitness improve. The reason is simple – steady state cardio just does not provide the same type of calorie burn as HIIT training.
You’ve probably heard of interval training. It’s been around for over a decade, but it has become hugely popular in the last few years in the form of High Intensity interval Training or HIIT. Interval training started out as a method of running on the track, but is now being applied to all types of training, including bodyweight and resistance exercises. In this article, we will focus on how you can perform interval training workouts at home.
Interval training at homes requires only two things:
- Space to Move
- An interval timer
The interval timer will alert you to your exercise and rest periods and so it’s pretty important that you invest in a quality timer that’s reliable and easy to operate. The best timer on the market to work seamlessly with your home interval workout is the Gymboss Classic, which allows you to simply set both exercise and rest times.
- Bodyweight Interval Training
There are all sorts of bodyweight exercises that you can base your interval training workouts around. But why not choose the one that’ll give you the best bang for your buck?
We’re talking the ‘burpee’.
This old high school favorite – which is a combination between a squat, a push up and plyometric jump has been shown to burn more calories than any other bodyweight movement. Doing it interval training style ramps up the calorie burn even further.
How to Do It
Set your interval timer for 20 seconds of exercise and then 30 seconds of rest. You will do this for eight rounds.
Now stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Then drop down by squatting deep to bring your palms to the floor. At the same time kick your feet back to full extension. This will put you in a push up position. From here perform a single push up and then thrust your feet forward to propel yourself into an upward leap. That’s one rep!
Keep going until the interval timer beeps the end of your first 20 second ‘on’ time. You’ve now got exactly 30 seconds to recover before dropping into your next ‘on’ period. Keep pushing for eight rounds, trying to maintain a steady number of burpees each round (good luck on that!).
- Jump Rope / Push Up / High Knees
Jumping rope remains one of the simplest and most effective cardio and fat burning exercises that exist. Combining it with push-ups and high knees, interval style, will deliver a challenging workout that builds muscle, increases strength, scorches body fat and boosts cardio fitness all at the same time.
How to Do It
Set your interval timer for one interval of 30 seconds.
Begin with 30 seconds of skipping, aiming to maintain a smooth cadence with no stops. When you hear the beep, drop the rope and go directly into push ups for 30 seconds. Take it slowly, focusing on squeezing and contracting the pectorals. When the Gymboss beeps again, jump up and immediately begin your high knees. Keep going until you hear that beautiful beep!
- Backyard Sprints.
Sprinting is one of the most physically tabatademanding things that you can do. It’s also one of the most effective aerobic activities, as well as being a great calorie burner. This sprint interval workout is based on the original HIIT workout created by Dr. Azumi Tabata in 1996.
How to Do It
Set your interval timer for 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds of rest. Now jog up and down the length of your backyard for two minutes. At the end of that time activate the timer and begin your first sprint. Run as fast as you possibly can, imagining that you are being chased by a large, hungry dog. When you get to the end of your running space simply spin around keep sprinting.
When you hear the beep, stop sprinting and walk with hands on hips, taking deep breaths to recover. After 10 seconds, you’ll hear the run signal. Immediately launch back into a sprint, trying to maintain the same pace as last time. Continue for all eight rounds.