FitGirl: Switch Up Your Work Out With Interval Training
High intensity interval training, HIIT, is one way to spice up your workout routine while also pushing your body to its limit. Sprint workouts are one way to do interval training. Sprints can be done either on the track with a stopwatch or on a treadmill; some treadmills even have interval settings.
Start off by jogging to warm up for five to ten minutes. Next full on sprint as fast as possible for 20 to 30 seconds. You should be exhausted after 30 seconds and gasping for air. At USC I suggest doing interval training on the track instead of the Lyon Center because it is intense and aggressively gasping for air in front of people lifting weights can be embarrassing. It will be challenging to sprint full out if you feel at all self-conscious.
For the next two minutes walk or jog at a very slow pace. The first few times you do intervals you will probably walk in between sprints. Then do another 20 to 30 sec. sprint and two minute walk or jog. Repeat the spring/recovery pattern six to ten times. End with a slow jog to cool down and stretch.
The workout will only take about 20 to 40 min. depending on how many sprints you choose to do. There are other ways to do HIIT training as well such as jumping rope and biking. HIIT should not be done everyday but it’s a great supplement to add in a few times a week.
Doing longer, slower cardio burns fat than HIIT training, according to Skye Hansen, a kinesiology major and a personal trainer at the Lyon Center at USC .
“After one hour of cardio our body stops using carbs as its main energy source and starts using fats,” Hansen said.
However, sprinting burns more calories per minute. “High intensity results in increased metabolism and increased heart rate, indicators of high caloric expenditure,” said Hansen.
Mixing both interval training and longer cardio episodes throughout the week is a good way to benefit from both types of exercise as well as change up your workout routine.
You can read more about interval training here.
This is a new weekly health and fitness column that comes out every Thursday. If you have any questions you want to see answered feel free to email me.