How to Make HIT Training Work For You

How would you like to spend less time exercising…do less exercising when you are working out…and still get great results? How would you like an approach to fitness, getting in shape, losing fat that can actually fit into your schedule, no matter how hectic your schedule is?

In my last tip, I discussed the comeback of HIT training. Actually, it’s more like an ongoing cycle. HIT training seems to periodically cycle up and down in terms of attention, number of adherents, etc.

In today’s society, everyone from parents to executives to business owners to students are busy. So the prospect of trading long, boring cardio sessions of 45 minutes to an hour, three to four times per week…(the traditional area people focus on) for two or three short, 20 minute workouts per week…is a no-brainer for many people!

The trick to keeping your workouts short, yet still achieving good results, is to (1) exercise with sufficiently high intensity, to the point where you are really huffing and puffing; and (2) focus most of your efforts on certain types of exercises.

To point #1: Obviously this means pushing yourself. However, to work at a sufficiently high level of intensity necessitates using an interval, or pulsing, approach.

Interval Training involves working hard for a short period of time, followed by either a complete rest or a slower pace of the target activity. For example, you run at a good clip for five minutes (the work interval), then run more slowly or walk for five minutes (the rest interval). That’s one set.

Or, you perform repetitions of a compound movement, such as a squat or pushup or bench press, and push yourself to momentary muscular failure (that is, you can’t do another repetition without cheating, breaking down in form, or your movement becomes super slow). Then you rest. That’s one set.

Put together a sufficient number of sets of high intensity effort, and you’ve got yourself a super workout! And the good news is, you only need about 20 minutes to complete such as workout. In fact, if you are really pushing yourself, you probably won’t want to do more than 20 minutes!

I think people shy away from high intensity training because they associate it with highly intense levels of effort and think it is too tough for them to do. But the truth is, just about anyone can successfully adapt this type of training, no matter their present level of fitness.

The key is to set the intensity and duration of your work interval at a level sufficient to push yourself — but not push yourself over the edge.

Just about every activity I can think of lends itself to interval training. It just takes a little creativity.

For example, strength training is naturally interval in nature. You perform sets of repetitions of exercises, interspersed with rest periods.

Walking and running are also naturals for intervals. Simply walk or run faster for a period of time, interspersed with periods of walking or running more slowly.

Certain breathing exercises are interval in nature. Typically, each exercise is done for a certain number of repetitions.  You pause briefly (rest interval) and move on to the next one. Also, breathing floods your system with oxygen, creating immediate surges in energy levels and metabolism.

Now, to point #2: Notice that the type of exercising – walking, sprinting, resistance training – as well as the types of exercises – squats, pushups, bench press – I discuss are either full body movement OR compound exercises.

Compound exercises involve multiple body parts. They tend to be the most effective exercises because they involve the large muscle groups, such as quads, gluts, chest and back. These muscles require more energy and focus to work hard. Focusing on them means you can train your entire body with fewer movements.

In addition, compound exercises make much more significant demands on your entire system, especially if you push yourself…meaning more calories burned not only during exercise, but post-exercise.

In fact, a short but high intensity exercise session, focused on as few as five exercises, can actually elevate your metabolism for 24 to 48 hours AFTER the exercise session.

Imagine what this could mean to your efforts to get into better shape, burn off some fat, or get stronger?

You Can Do It!



“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

P.S. In the “Fire Up Your Metabolism” Program, you have a complete, fat burning and muscle toning program at your fingertips. When you perform the core set of exercises in the program, you combine the power of deep breathing, intensity and focus with compound movements activating the large muscles of your body. This combination is a powerhouse when it comes to activating the fat-burning potential of your body.

For more information, or to download your own copy of the program, go to

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2012

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