HIIT(ing) it Hard- High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT(ing) it Hard- High Intensity Interval Training

I am seriously obsessed. Every time I sign up for a class, I feel a moment of dread, but as soon as my heart is racing I can’t help but feel a sense of pride. A few weeks ago I joined Orange Theory Fitness. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, other than it would kick my ass!

As a Lazy Lady, I tend to put in the minimum effort at a workout. When I made the commitment to my health and weight loss, I knew I needed something that would push me. For those of you unfamiliar with Orange Theory Fitness, it is a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) program.

Orange Theory (and HIIT workouts in general) involve continuously alternating between short periods of high-level activity and rest periods. This is a great workout because you get better results in less time than you would jogging on a treadmill. You also continue to burn calories long after your workout.

At Orange Theory you have three stations through which the group alternates: treadmill, row machine, and weights. On the treadmill, there are three different levels: power walker, jogger, and runner. Combined with those levels, there are three stages of effort you put into your treadmill routine: base pace, push pace, and all out. Let’s just say that I definitely began as a base-pace power walker! As you go through the 60-minute workout, you spend about 20 minutes on each station, and of course there is an instructor who is pushing you to your limit the entire class.

Orange Theory shows you how your body is responding to the workout, and that keeps me engaged. During each class you follow a heart rate monitor displayed on a television screen in the studio. Your name is displayed with your heart rate, and they have colors that correspond to how hard your heart is working. Green is usually for base pace, Orange is push pace, and Red is for when you are working the hardest. The important thing to note here is that you do not want to be all red!!! Your goal is to stay in the orange zone for 12- 20 minutes, as science has shown HIIT to be one of the most effective way to maximize your body’s ability to burn calories.

HIIT workouts also stand out by getting you more bang for your buck! These workouts are great for the busy young professional because they take less time but also yield better results. You are also more likely to stick to a HIIT routine, since it combines multiple activities and is continuously changing. So for those of you out there who are like me and have a short attention span, we are more likely to have fun and not get bored.

Below is a picture of a performance report from my first day at OTF and then one more performance report from about two weeks ago.

Performance Summary1stclass Performance Summary 5:31


Finally in honor of Turn It Up Thursday today and also to make up for the TWO breakfast burritos I had this morning, here is my performance report from today…

Performance Summary 6:16

It is insane how many calories you can burn in a very short amount of time. As Orange Theory puts it “60 minutes is only 4% of your day” #NoExcuses.

A traditional HIIT routine could improve aerobic fitness as much as 10 times more than a traditional drawn out exercise routine, such as running long periods on a treadmill or elliptical. 

There are many forms of HIIT workouts available, but Orange Theory is just the one that I prefer. I enjoy being guided and pushed to work hard. I need the extra support, but a lot of the exercises reflecting HIIT can actually be performed at home or in a limited gym. Many of the exercises we do for muscle building have you working against your own body weight, rather than using specialized gym equipment. Squats, jumping jacks, push ups, and planks are just a few examples.

Lastly, before I bore you all to death with how much I love HIIT, I will leave you with this study from http://www.simplyshredded.com/fit-with-hiit-science-is-dropping-the-hammer-on-endless-bouts-of-steady-state-cardio.html

“One of the earliest studies, done by researchers at Laval University (Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada), kept it basic, using two groups in a months-long experiment. One group followed a 15-week program using HIIT while the other performed only steady-state cardio for 20 weeks. Proponents of steady-state training were pleased to hear that those subjects burned 15,000 calories more than their HIIT counterparts. Those who followed the HIIT program, however, lost significantly more bodyfat.”

The entire article is worth a read.

BOOM! Less time and more results!

And Last but not least here is your Throwback Thursday/Turn It Up Thursday workout song!

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