Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Dom's HIIT Examples

HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training - Has been reported to have shitloads of benefits for so many people and athletes.  Providing Shorter workouts which have Greater effect in Less Time.  Awesome!

15 minutes of interval training could have more benefits than an hour of regular cardio.

There are a bunch of different methods all of which should be tailored to your current level of fitness and strength. It will also be beneficial if you make it sport specific, i.e. doing HIIT on the rowing machine may not have a huge effect on your sprinting ability.  However if you are not a sportsman and just looking for a better all round fitness and body composition then do a variety of exercises

One very popular method is the Tabata Workout/protocol.
Choose your exercise - running, rowing, cycling, swimming - and go at it Hell for leather /  balls to the wall for 10seconds, then rest for 20seconds.
10 on, 20 off
Do that 8 times (or more) - (8 is not a magical number that must be adheared to but does give a rough estimate of a minimum 4 minute workout)

If you are super fit and not totally exhausted after those 8, then keep going, however remember, that if you are not going balls to the wall then you are not getting the benefits.  The aim should be to have yourself massively fatigued, unable to recover, wanting to cry, falling off the machine by even just the 4th set never mind the 8th!
If you are not an incredibly fit and highly trained individual, and you get to 8 sets and think you can do more...... you clearly need to look up "balls to the wall" and try harder!
It should be to the point that when someone asks you 'what would you rather do - jog for an hour in the rain and snow, OR do a 4 minute Tabata workout' - your immediate first though should be a jog will be so much nicer.

Here are a couple of my Protocols I use.

Rowing. Extra Rep Per Minute.

This one is easy and a good challenge.
Set the rowing machine to max resistance and change the display settings to Watts
Row for the first minute at a relaxed pace (~70wpm)
At the start of the second minute do 1 super hard pull.  and note how high the Watts measurement goes up to (usually over 200wpm)
Bring your rowing power back down to 70wpm rest of that minute.
At the start of the next minute do 2 Reps as hard as possible. (again note how high the Watts goes up 350wpm?)
Again drop your rowing power down to your comfortable range 70wpm for the remaining part of that minute. At the start of the next minute do 3 reps balls to the wall)
Continue this process of adding one more extra rep per minute.
There will come a point when no matter how many extra reps you have you can't increase your wattage
However try to beat it 3 times.
In total this for me is an around a 9 minute mark.  Usually I cant get any more increased power after 6 reps and the drop in rest time between sets (due to rowing for longer) means I am not able to get any more recovered.

The plan is that I both increase my WPM in each of the reps and managed to do more minutes.

Rowing Tabata style:
if the above protocol is too confusing then just to the bog standard
10 seconds balls to the wall (that will be around 5-6 reps) then 20 seconds recover (stop if you have to).
Repeat 8 times+

Adjust that protocol for your level of fitness but at the same time I suggest a good warm up before hand (which my protocol has already integrated in itself) both in terms of getting your heart rate up and also preparing your back and legs for the sudden increases in force in the 10 seconds ON.

Treadmill Sprints + Hills.
Sprinting is awesome, no doubt about that.  Very few people do it, and also there may be a bit of danger to doing it in the gym where you could loose your footing and faceplant into the spinning track under your feet. Which wont look cool.

Here is the basic idea.
First minute  Speed 4 - Incline 0
Minute 2     Speed 20 - Incline 15
Minute 3 + 4 Rest

So far this is not what happens.
What actually happens is that just after the first minute I hold the speed button up until it reads 20kph, then I press the Gradient button up until it reaches 15%. By the time I have taken my finger off both of the buttons I have done 35 seconds (of increasing difficulty) But the treadmill is still increaseing its gradient as it is slower to change its actual angle compared to its digital readout angle.
And i just sprint for as long as i can.
so far I have only managed to get to 50s within the minute before i have to slam down the stop button.
When I hit the stop button I bring my runing down and then press restart/resume and get settings down to Speed4 and incline 0 and then walk for 2 minutes to get my heart rate back down before trying again.

The plan is to be able to run for longer (and subsequently a higher angle) and get my heart rate to drop faster between sets.
Todays example My heart rate went up to 175BPM, then in the 2 minutes rest it dropped to 135pbm
The fitter i am in the future, the quicker my heart rate may drop between sets, indication a greater replenishment of energy and a greater ability do do more sets.