High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of cardio that involves different levels of intensity, switching between low intensity and very high intensity.
There are many different variations of HIIT so it is difficult to define, but all HIIT has the same goal: Increased calorie burning and an increase in cardiovascular fitness.
Studies have shown that HIIT can improve your cardiovascular system, your lung capacity, and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease .
It has also been shown to slightly increase your metabolism, increase fat burning, and it may even have cognitive benefits.
In this article we are going to look three HIIT routines that you can perform on cardio machines.
HIIT Routine #1 TABATA
Cardio Machine: Fitness Bike
TABATA is a form of HIIT named after its creator; Professor Izumi Tabata who created a program in 1996 which involved 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds rest.
This was repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes per exercise.
Tabata is perfect for bodyweight exercises, but it also suits fitness bikes.
Climb on a fitness bike and set the resistance to one that is fairly difficult.
Use a timer and cycle as fast as you can for 20 seconds before resting for 10. Repeat for 4 minutes.
HIIT Routine #2 Sprint Intervals
Cardio Machine: Rower
Sprint intervals involves 30 seconds of outright sprinting, followed by 45-60 seconds of rest.
You can either stop completely or continue rowing but at a sedate pace.
This can also be done on a treadmill, but not everyone can sprint on a treadmill comfortably.
Rowers are a lot easier and safer to perform “sprints” on.
HIIT Routine #3 Fartlek Training
Cardio Machine: Treadmill
Fartlek is seen by many as the original version of high intensity interval training. It involves running, walking, and jogging certain distances.
It perfectly suits the treadmill. The idea is that you jog for a pre-determined distance (you can measure this however you want but a fun way to do it would be the length of a song on your iPod).
Then you would sprint for a pre-determined distance, followed by a slow walk to recover.
Repeating this again and again for the entire workout.
It’s similar to Sprint intervals but you can
1) change the distances/duration whenever you want, and
2) it involves three speeds (walk, jog, sprint) rather than two.
HIIT is often thought of as something that needs to be performed in a gym or outside, but actually you could have a seriously good HIIT workout in the comfort of your own home using a fitness bike, treadmill, or rower.
Why not combine a cardio machine with some bodyweight exercises? You could do a Tabata workout where you spend half the time on a fitness bike and the other half doing squats or push ups.
Remember to always warm up thoroughly before a HIIT workout, cycle slowly on a fitness bike or walk on a treadmill for 5-10 minutes before staring.