High-Intensity Interval Training for Busy People

Over the past few years, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has steadily become a popular form of exercise. Highly effective for improving cardio and burning fat, HIIT also has another advantage – it enables you to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.

In a nutshell, HIIT generally involves short, intense workouts – alternating between periods of intense anaerobic exercise and recovery periods. These workouts usually last for no longer than 30 minutes per session.

Anaerobic exercise is short and intensity in nature, creating a demand in your body for more oxygen than the oxygen supply available. Examples include sprinting and powerlifting.

There are various versions of HIIT training, but basically you would be looking at something along the lines of:

  • Jorge Zuniga regimen – intervals of 30 seconds at 90% of maximum power output followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • Jamie Timmons regimen – 2 minutes of gentle output followed by 20 second bursts of maximum effort

This sort of training is perfect for busy professionals trying to balance out their work and life who might not have the time to spend a couple hours in the gym lifting weights or jogging on the treadmill to stay fit.

High-intensity interval training provides these guys with everything they’re looking for – fat loss, improved cardiovascular fitness – while cutting down on the amount of time they need to spend exercising.

HIIT example workouts:

  • Kettlebell swings – 30 seconds of kettlebell swings, followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • Sprint – sprint for 100 metres, jog for 200 metres
  • Burpees – 30 seconds of burpees, followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • Hill sprints – sprint up the hill then walk down

You can repeat the exercises for a number of rounds, or you can combine them into a circuit:

  • Bodyweight squats – 15 secs
  • Burpees – 15 secs
  • Kettlebell swings – 15 secs
  • Rest for a minute then repeat the circuit from the beginning

As you can see, another advantage of this sort of training is how adaptable it is, you can do it from pretty much anywhere you are – where you’re at your local gym or travelling on the road for work. You don’t need much equipment, or none at all, depending of what sort of training you plan on doing.

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Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.