After weeks of Christmas parties and ultra-indulgence throughout December, the welcoming of the new year calls for a resolution, and for many, switching up our health regime – or having one, altogether – becomes a top priority.
In 2017, increasing exercise and losing weight was the most popular resolution among Brits. So, whether it was the extra nights out to blame, or the endless sweet treats on offer, something has got to give. Well, there is a solution to getting back on track in 2018 – high intensity interval training, more commonly known as HIIT, which, in essence, combines short bursts of intense aerobic exercises such as sprinting, followed by longer recovery rest periods. Seems simple and approachable, with maximum results – what’s not to love?
We’ve teamed up personal trainer and Cellucor athlete Andy Ward to discover more. Here, then, are 5 IDEAL tips for an impactful HIIT workout this new year.
BUILD YOURSELF UP GRADUALLY
Before introducing intervals into your regime, you do need some sort of baseline aerobic fitness, to establish a foundation. Therefore if you haven’t been doing any exercise at all recently, start with 3 x 20-minute steady state cardio (jogging or cycling for example). When this starts to feel easy, you’re ready to hit the HIIT! Try introducing 2-3 intervals at a time during your normal 20-minute routine, and as your fitness and endurance improves you can add more intervals to your workout.
CHOOSE EXERCISES THAT YOU ENJOY
If you’re not a fan of cycling, don’t cycle. It’s as simple as that; there are plenty of other ways to keep fit available. If you’re a keen runner, sprints are your best bet. Choosing an activity that you particularly like gives you a higher chance of sticking with it, and consequently will give you a better chance of seeing the results you want to achieve.
FUEL YOUR WORKOUTS
If you’re feeling sluggish and cold in the winter months, choosing a pre-workout such as Cellucor’s C4 will help give you an instant and explosive burst of energy. This pre-fuelling will also help to increase your focus and will be your best friend in times of need when you’re feeling unmotivated to workout.
Note to self: If you do overindulge, don’t worry, HIIT workouts burn more glycogen (which is what carbohydrates are converted to) which means all that extra chocolate will be put to good use!
BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERDO IT
HIIT can be very taxing on the central nervous system, and with a drop in temperature the cold weather may make you more susceptible to picking up a cold or two. So if you’ve overeaten, don’t overtrain to compensate for this as you could do more harm than good by running your immune system down. Instead, try to stick to a normal and regular routine wherever and whenever you can.