Body Transformation Challenge

Coach’s corner: High intensity interval training

By Beth Roberts

This is the fourth week of the Body Transformation Challenge and at our weekly group training, we challenged the participants with another round of the circuits they had completed the week before. Everyone looked stronger again and some admitted that it felt a little easier already.

The rest of our group training consisted of high intensity interval training (HIIT) drills. HIIT workouts are extremely effective. For a short amount of time you perform an exercise and exert yourself as hard as you can. After a short rest you repeat the same drill again always giving maximum effort. Interval lengths vary. For this session I had them do 20/10 drills, consisting of 20 seconds of intense exertion and 10 seconds of rest, repeated for eight sets total, so each move is performed for four minutes total. I always mix upper and lower bodyweight drills in different patterns of intensity to keep it interesting. This is one of my personal favorite ways to workout and I have found it works well for many. The shorts drills keep it interesting, especially as we alternate between moves.

Basically, HIIT works by switching the body back and forth between aerobic and anaerobic activity. When you increase intensity for a short interval, your body demands more energy faster than you can take in additional oxygen, so your body switches to anaerobic mode. At this point your body starts to burn stored carbohydrates for energy. It’s intense and your body can’t handle it for very long, so you need the recovery period to get back to an aerobic state where your body can use oxygen to provide energy. In the aerobic state your body can recover and get ready for the next intense interval.

Here is a simple bodyweight HIIT drill for you to do anywhere:

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds twice, then repeat the same drill again before you move on to the next one. After completing each twice, go through all of them again until you get a total of eight sets of each. Try to keep the intensity consistent.

Mountain climbers

Squat leaps

Elbow plank jacks

High knees

In just 16 minutes you will have completed an extremely effective workout!

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