In celebration of the new month and Workout Wednesday, I want to share with you all my plan for November – a new workout challenge, whoopee! With the holiday season upon us (a.k.a. sweet treat baking extravaganza), I want to implement a challenge for myself (and you, too!) to finish out the year strong. Do you remember the Holiday Hustle Challenge from December 2010?
In hopes of maintaining my sleeker, summer body, burning fat, and gaining lean muscle mass, I am challenging myself to add HIIT workouts to my exercise regimen 2-3 days per week for the month of November. The focus isn’t on distance or duration this time around, but intensity and strength.
What is HIIT?
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a specialized form of interval training that involves short intervals of maximum intensity exercise separated by longer intervals of low to moderate intensity exercise. Because it involves briefly pushing yourself beyond the upper end of your aerobic exercise zone, it offers you several advantages that traditional steady-state exercise (where you keep your heart rate within your aerobic zone) can’t provide:
- HIIT trains and conditions both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. You train your anaerobic system with brief, all-out efforts.
- HIIT increases the amount of calories you burn during your exercise session and afterward because it increases the length of time it takes your body to recover from each exercise session.
- HIIT causes metabolic adaptations that enable you to use more fat as fuel under a variety of conditions. This will improve your athletic endurance as well as your fat-burning potential.
- HIIT appears to limit muscle loss that can occur with weight loss, in comparison to traditional steady-state cardio exercise of longer duration.
- To get the benefits HIIT, you need to push yourself past the upper end of your aerobic zone and allow your body to replenish your anaerobic energy system during the recovery intervals.
Yesterday, I attempted my first HIIT treadmill workout*. Though it was a sweaty challenge, I didn’t push myself to my out-of-breath anaerobic threshold. Gotta start somewhere.
*HIIT can be be done on a variety of fitness equipment.
Are you a fan of HIIT? Do you have any favorite workouts to share or advice for this novice?
I will be recording my workouts a la DailyMile – per usual – and will log them on the blog, too.
Want to join me on the challenge?
Have a lovely day,
Hill on the run