I have been on my fitness journey for many years. The great thing about fitness is your journey never ends, you’re constantly evolving. My fitness journey first started in high school when I begged my mom to let me order a Pilates-type workout DVD on an infomercial. It continued when I fell in love with running and did cardio all the time, then started finally started lifting. But about two years ago, the way I work out COMPLETELY changed when I found HIIT.
High Intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT, combines quick bursts of high intensity intervals, with short rest intervals. Typically the HIIT workouts I follow (I will share at the end of this post) have 30-60 second “work” periods, followed by a 10 second rest. The great thing about HIIT? It’s efficient. You can do a 12 minute HIIT workout, and accomplish the same as you would in a longer cardio session. So how do you get started with HIIT? Here I will share the top 5 reasons I fell in love with HIIT, as well as the free workouts I follow, so you can get started too.
5 Reasons I love HIIT
1. I feel stronger.
The HIIT workouts I follow (which I will share below) are mostly bodyweight or dumbbell exercises. After a year or two of lifting I had gotten so much stronger and more muscular, but when I attempted my first HIIT workout I realized I couldn’t even do a single push-up! As a result, this made me feel weak. I love HIIT because it makes me stronger in so many more ways than throwing some weights around. Being able to do bodyweight exercises is now more impressive to me than lifting a bunch of heavy weights.
2. I have more endurance.
HIIT workouts are like a mixture of strength training and cardio. My cardiovascular endurance has improved greatly without doing hours and hours of cardio. HIIT has gotten me into the best shape of my life.
3. I have more ENERGY.
This one goes for any exercise program. The more you exercise, the more all-around energy you’ll typically have. But sometimes, with lifting or cardio I would still get burnt out if I went too many days without a good rest. With HIIT, I have yet to get burnt out. I have more energy all the time. Look great, feel great… or is it feel great, look great? HIIT helps me with both.
4. They’re FUN!!
The free HIIT workouts I follow (shown below) are so much fun. My favorite trainer, Lisa, is so encouraging. She makes you feel like you’re best friends, even though you’ve never met. She’s got your back all the time and knows just what to say when you feel like giving up. Her workouts will pump you up, make you laugh, and leave you feeling great.
5. You can do them anywhere – for FREE.
You don’t need a gym membership, you don’t even really need dumbbells or a jump rope if you don’t have one. My favorite trainer, Lisa, sells some great equipment to use with her workouts, but she almost always shows you a modified move if you don’t have any equipment. You can do them at home, outside, at your gym, wherever your heart desires.
Now on to the good stuff… links to my favorite workouts!
My absolute FAVORITE trainer is Lisa from bodyrock.tv. I am not a BodyRock sponser, I am not getting paid to say this. I just LOVE her workouts and think she’s the absolute best. She truly just wants to help others on their fitness journey. She sells products and training equipment but never pushes them, and always shows modified moves if you don’t have the equipment. I got hooked on BodyRock HIIT workouts a couple of years ago and there was no turning back for me.
She posts so many FREE workouts on YouTube. (Find the bodyrock YouTube channel here and just Lisa’s channel here) She also hosts free challenges where she will email you a new workout every day. Seriously guys, she’s just great.
Here are links to 2 YouTube Playlists to get you started:
1. BodyRock 21 Day Bootcamp (best for beginners)
Give both of those programs a try and let me know what you think. You’ll be hooked. Here is a BodyRock blog post that will give you a little intro about their community and workouts.
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t NEED equipment to do the workouts. You can always find modifications. But if you are looking for home-workout equipment recommendations, below is everything I use.
The ONLY equipment I use for HIIT workouts:
- Yoga Mat
- Jump Rope
- Dumbbells (I would recommend getting adjustable dumbbells or 3 individual sets based on your strength: light, medium, and heavy)
- Heart Rate Monitor – I have the FitBit Charge HR in Plum, Lisa uses the Polar FT4 in pink in a lot of her workouts.
HIIT workouts have changed my life and as a result I feel great, look great, have more energy, and save LOTS of time. I hope this blog post has given you a clear introduction to HIIT and provided some good resources to get started. Do you have any favorite workouts to follow? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!