I have been an avid exerciser since I was about 18 years old. Believe me I have done everything. I have been a runner. I have done kickboxing. I was a Curves member for a year or so. I have been a member to multiple gyms. I have done the now cancelled "Exercise TV" routines. I have ordered many workout videos. I have even done a few Insanity workouts. About a year and a half ago, I came across what was at the time "BodyrockTV" which introduced me to free "HIIT" workouts on their website. Each workout was 12-15 minutes long and SUPER intense. They claimed all you needed to do was 12-15 minutes per day of that type of exercise. No weight lifting, no other cardio, nothing. So me, who tries to find the easiest, cheapest way to do things which is probably obvious by now, lol, I said why not. I will tell you that that is the ONLY exercise I did about 4-5 times per week (I now add the elliptical sometimes on top of my HIIT routine) and after a few months I noticed my body changing, my clothes looser. I lost 1 pant size and close to 10 lbs. It is the best shape I have ever been in, even though I have done multiple other types of exercises that lasted 30, 45, 60 minutes per workout. I really could not believe 12 minutes a day was all it was taking. Ever since then I have researched more of those work out routines on the internet. I now do it 6 times per week. I have found other websites such as www.zuzkalight.com and www.fitnessblender.com that have many of these workouts all for free. Bodyrock is now www.dailyhiit.com. But there are many others if you just google or look on www.youtube.com. You can find so many routines!
So what is HIIT? It is a way to push your cardiovascular system, muscular strength and burn some mega calories in a much shorter amount of time.( Aren't we all short on time anyways?) It is a routine of a few different specific exercises that are a mix of cardio and body weight strength. You do the exercises usually for anywhere from 20-60 seconds with about 10 seconds rest between each exercise. It is done in a circuit type routine meaning it usually is a few specific exercises that are done for one round and repeated, but it can be all different exercises as well. The full routines usually last about 8-20 minutes. You get a huge bang for your buck. With each individual exercise, you are to push yourself until your muscles are burning and you have given all you got. The purpose is to push your body to increase it's anaerobic AND aerobic ability (unlike cardio alone that only uses aerobic fitness).This will cause your metabolic rate to increase through the roof! Which in turn will allow your body to burn more calories at rest after you are done working out and possibly for 48 hours after. This is burning fat, People!! The HIIT strategy allows you to achieve weight loss with the intense cardio WHILE building great muscle tone (i could show you my biceps ;) lol JK) at the same time which is important for a maximum calorie burn. Cardio alone does not build muscle and you can actually have muscle loss with basic cardio.
So...a routine that burns maximum calories during the workout and up to 2 days after, is free, requires no equipment, can be done anywhere, challenges you like no other, is short and provides visible results pretty dang quick? It's a great solution! I personally love it. I even have my husband doing the Zuzka workouts. Which her workouts tend to be my favorite as well, but fitnessblender has some really great ones too. After trying every possible exercise technique out there, I have finally found something I love and that really, really works. I think if you give it a try you will like it too. The work outs are tough, you can barely breathe, your muscles are on fire and you sweat a ton, but for only 15 minutes-ish....it is totally do-able and worth it. I do have some before and after pictures that once I get enough guts to post them, I will show you! I would love to help anybody who is willing to give this a shot! If you try it and feel it's too hard, don't get discouraged. There are ways to modify the workouts and your endurance will quickly improve. I guarantee it.
I did 20 minutes on the elliptical (only because I like to get some extra cardio on top of HIIT, but it's not totally necessary.)
http://goo.gl/dIOvS: fitnessblender....19 minutes HIIT Cardio routine
Good Night! Stay Active!