I despise going to the gym to do cardio. Even though I love some distance running outside when the weather is nice, I have yet to meet a treadmill or elliptical that I’ve liked. To still get the benefits of a cardiovascular workout I started implementing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into my routine two years ago and do it now 3-4 times a week.
A few of benefits of intervals include increased metabolism, heart function, and HIIT burns more fat and calories in 24 hours after its completed than a long steady state run. All under 20 minutes – with really only a few minutes of work. I’m sold. To be fair, HIIT is challenging. In order to do it right, the intervals should be done at maximum intensity. It’s definitely not the type of cardio that you can read People magazine at the same time. The RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) Scale below displays how much effort should be put into each part of the interval.
The following HIIT routines are what I do on the treadmill – but you can do them on a bike, elliptical, or even running outside.
30 seconds all out sprint (RPE Level 10) followed by 90 seconds of Recovery/Walking (RPE Level 2-3).
Do this 8 times. (16 minute total workout)
Gradual Sprint Workout:
30 seconds walking (RPE Level 5)
30 seconds moderate (Level 7)
30 seconds sprint (Level 10)
Repeat for a total of 10 times (15 minute workout)
(I absolutely hate this workout but I feel like a world champion when I’m finished)
1 minute of walking/recovery (Level 2-3)
30 seconds moderate (Level 5)
1 minute sprint (Level 10)
Repeat for a total of 10 times (25 minute workout)