This week I’ve been re-initiating myself with a bit of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) courtesy of some timetable changes at my gym. And so far, I'm loving it!
I had a stab at Insanity a couple of years back and made it about 2 weeks in and failed. Not because the workout itself was especially difficult, but at the time I was ballroom dancing a lot and just found it too hard to stick to both; time and energy wise.
Fitness powerhouse brand Les Mills has launched a series of HIIT sessions called Grit, compromising strength training, plyometrics and cardio and this week I’ve clocked up 4 sessions of combined strength & plyo.
I’ve always been a bit cynical about short-bursts of intense activity; I get the science behind it, but my head just can’t connect with seeing benefits from any just 30 minutes exercise.
Admittedly, I’ve been doing back to back sessions so I’ve been getting a full hour. Which. Is. Tough.
By the end of a half hour session of strength (medium-heavy weights used at intensity to really push your heart rate up), psychologically you’re partly-broken but the adrenaline fuelling your body is telling you that you want more. Doing a Plyometrics session afterwards is actually a neat combination of workouts; this is focused more on using your own body weight, combining explosive moves and agility so you get a completely different buzz. As with most structured HIIT sessions, in each workout, there are slightly lower impact versions of the tougher exercises. Don’t make the mistake in thinking they’re an ‘easy’ option but they’re there as an option in case the intensity just gets too much and you need to dial it down a notch!
Whether you’re a runner, a spinner, a weightlifter, a cross-trainer, swimmer etc, I would really recommend giving the sessions a go if you can find a class near you. They won’t be for everyone but my early experience has been really positive.
I like that I can be in and out, and I like the science behind the longer-term burn of calories post-workout due to the structure of the high intensity & very short breaks. If you’re a bit of a geek like me and want to understand why this works, you can read more here
I’ll keep y’all updated on how I’m finding these sessions with a mix of running and weight training. All I can really tell you so far is that I’m aching in new places, which to me is a good sign!