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Monday, April 25, 2011

High Intensity Interval Training Outdoors

Yesterday was HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training, day for me at Cubberly Fields in Palo Alto. I attached my camera to my bicycle and got lots of snaps.

The idea of HIIT is alternating short bursts of very strenuous exercise with rest in order to create overall more energy consumption than steady exercise. It is really a cardio protocol. The exercises don't have to be traditional cardio ones, and I like alternating sprints and a rowing machine with other more strength oriented lifting and moving.

I'm doing 45 seconds of work and 45 seconds of rest now. Whatever exercises are used need to be done continuously for the entire work interval, so moderate weights will be needed. I've also found it is important to know in advance what exercises you'll do and have any equipment ready and in place. Once you get started thinking gets difficult.

Because the exercise is so intense, HIIT has the advantage of allowing a shorter workout. The real magic however is something called EPOC- Extra Calories Burned After Exercise. This means that even after you've crawled home, watched a DVD, and finished your third kale smoothy, you're STILL burning more calories because the workout has elevated your metabolism to superhuman levels.

Sprint Interval
Sprints are the foundation of my HIIT workouts, especially outdoors. It is easy to do them for time, they are incredible for developing leg and hip strength, and very much a real, natural movement for the body.

Kettlebell Row
Here I'm doing rows supported by a medicine ball. Two bells would have been better so the sides could alternate, but I rode my bike to the field and carrying a single small bell was hard enough. This exercise is known as a renegade row, and completely shreds your abs.

Gymboss Digital Timer
Having a Gymboss timer is a big help in doing interval training. It can be set for two intervals of different lengths and a total number of intervals. It beeps, vibrates, and does CPR(next release.) The best thing about it is that when I'm training someone I blame it for working the client so hard- the Gymboss knows no mercy.