One of the things you have to be careful of with the stuff that rolls around in your head is that you can’t be consumed by it all the time. It can drive you nuts. You have to have moments where you’re in a zone, having fun, feeling your body moving and sweating, and when you get so lost that you don’t even know where you are. That’s one of the things I love about working out.
The first rule is to find something you enjoy. Try to remember childhood. If you loved dancing, try Zumba. If you liked being strong, train with weights. If you like the feel of the open road, try running with your favorite tunes on your iPod. Something is going to be appealing. The human body likes moving and creating more energy, and that’s why you feel so good when you have that energy.
It’s time for a totally kick-ass workout that will have your energy on fire and one that will burn fat like an out-of-control incinerator.
The workout is a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio session. HIIT increases your capacity to burn fat, as well as the rate at which you burn fat, even while at rest for about 24-48 hours after the session. You will perform 60-second intervals. The first part of the interval is moderate cardio intensity and then you’ll finish with very high intensity. For example, in interval 1 below, the last 12 seconds you perform an all-out, high-intensity sprint/burst.
Although interval workouts sound intimidating, anyone can do them. If you’re a beginner, you don’t have to go full speed. In fact, you shouldn’t. If you consider yourself at an intermediate or advanced level, then have at it with super-high bursts of intensity. You don’t even have to run. You can bike, use the elliptical, or just about anything you enjoy. What’s important is that during the interval, you push yourself hard. It’s best to use cardio equipment where keeping time isn’t a hassle. The elliptical tends to work well, but again, you can choose any cardio of choice.
Make sure to stretch for a few minutes before the session.
Start with a 5-minute warm-up, followed by 20 minutes of intervals. Each interval is a total of 60 seconds.
Interval # Fast as possible (seconds out of the minute interval)
Perform a 10-minute cool down, followed by some stretching.
Don’t perform the workout more than two days a week. On the other days you can perform steady-state cardio (moderate intensity for the entire cardio session) or anything that you find fun. The HIIT workout will have you completely engaged, and when you’re done with the session, you’ll have an intense rush of energy and well being. Just make sure to have a protein shake soon after the workout or a whole meal within an hour after the session.
The HIIT session is a sample of a workout that one of my online coaching clients is using with great success. Not all of my clients use HIIT, and I only build it into a program when it makes sense based on my overall strategy for the client.
If you’re unable to perform the HIIT workout due to injury or other issue, don’t worry. I’ll be posting more workouts in the future.