The true beauty of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) aerobic exercise is that it efficient AND effective. It takes less time than distance running, and burns more fat — why not do it?
The easiest way to put together an HIIT cardio plan to incorporate to your workout schedule is simple: Just paste it on to the end of your weightlifting sessions, and alternate 1 minute at 85-90 percent intensity and 1 minute of low-intensity training. So, if you’re running, you’d be sprinting for a minute followed by a minute of walking.
But, we can do you one better. For one, we’re going to cut down your intervals to 30 seconds. This will mean you can give a higher percentage of effort (over 60 seconds, your “90 percent” will be vastly diminished as opposed to just 30 seconds) and cut your rest times in half. The upshot is that you’ll work harder, but it will take less time. Again: More results, faster. Life should be as great as HIIT, right?
On top of that, we are going to add an anaerobic twist to this aerobic workout: Isometrics. If you’re pinched for time, this is a great way to add some muscle work to your HIIT routine. Since all your sprinting and walking is aerobic (requiring oxygen) and lifting is anaerobic, you can use the two in conjunction. Be warned: You really won’t be strength-training here, since most of your body’s energy will be going to the HIIT.
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL AND ISOMETRIC UPPER-BODY ISOMETRIC WORKOUT
First Set: 30 seconds sprint @ 85-90 percent of max effort/30 seconds walk/30 seconds bench press hold. — For the bench press hold, simply begin a standard barbell bench, but instead of lowering it to your chest and up for reps, you’ll flex your chest and hold the barbell about 6-8 inches off your chest.
Second Set: 30 seconds sprint @ 85-90 percent of max effort/30 seconds walk/30 seconds isometric pull-up hold. — Iso holds are simply holding the top of a pull-up position (chin above the bar) with an overhand grip, using your back to keep yourself up. Remember to draw your shoulder blades back, your elbows back and down, to force your back to do the work and not your arms.
Third Set: 30 seconds sprint @ 85-90 percent of max effort/30 seconds walk/30 seconds plank.
Repeat above at least three times for a total of four times.