Most guys have a clear picture of the ideal physique. Zac Efron’s chiseled abs. Cristiano Ronaldo’s quads of steel. Chris Hemsworth’s bulging biceps. You’re hitting the gym day in and day out to get ripped like these guys. Though you’re probably going about it the wrong way. It’s satisfying to spend an hour and a half on the stationary bike. Who doesn’t love seeing 800 calories burned? But what if there was a better way? HIIT isn’t necessarily easier but it’s more effective. And it takes a quarter of the time.
What Is HIIT?
HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training. If you want to melt away fat quickly, it should also be your new favorite word. It involves short bursts of high-speed cardio followed by brief periods of rest. A 20-minute session of HIIT will leave you winded. Plus, it’ll keep burning calories throughout the day. No equipment needed. Less time required. More fat burned. It’s a win win.
How Do I Do It?
Let’s start with a sprinting example. You can do this HIIT routine on a treadmill or outside. Start out walking or jogging for two minutes. Then, speed up to an all-out sprint for a minute. After, slow back down to a brisk walk or slow jogging pace. After another two minutes, start sprinting again for another minute. So on and so forth. You’ll repeat these intervals multiple times until you’ve reached the 20-minute mark.
You can play with interval times as well. Cut your jogging time in half for a more impactful session. A 1:1 interval ratio can be a tough but rewarding workout.
Does HIIT Only Involve Sprinting?
Nope! HIIT isn’t limited to sprinting. It’s all about the intervals—not the activity. You can apply the same concept to the elliptical, the stationary bike, and the Stairmaster.
Better yet, if traditional cardio isn’t your thing, you can build a HIIT circuit from a group of common bodyweight exercises. For example, blast through a rotation of pull-ups, jumping jacks, and burpees with only one minute of rest before starting again. Men’s Fitness offers some incredible gut-blasting HIIT routines.
Summer is here. If you’ve found yourself disappointed with your fitness progress so far this year, don’t worry. Up the sweat factor, get economical about your cardio, and watch the fat melt away. HIIT isn’t some fad workout. It’s the answer to all your body problems this season.