My Favorite Way to Workout
One of my top tips for getting into a fitness routine is to find what you love doing, and do that thing. I definitely like to switch things up here and there, but if I'm in a rut, haven't worked out in a while, or just don't "feel" like going to work out on a given day, I go back to what I know I love. Find something you look forward to doing after a long day at work or a free Saturday morning.
For me, that thing is a fast paced, HIIT style workout.
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It’s a type of workout that requires quick, all-out bursts of energy followed by active recovery periods. I like to incorporate both strength training and cardio circuits into a full body workout for a nonstop, maximum effort period of about thirty minutes. You never stop moving, you’re working several muscle groups, and you’re burning a ton of calories in a relatively short amount of time. This is what works for me, and I love it!
I usually start with an 8-10 minute warm up of cardio (treadmill or stair master is my usual go-to) and mobility movements to loosen up and get ready for the full workout. The workout itself consists of a lot of free weight and/or body weight exercises as well as plyometrics or "jumping exercises." Plyos amp up the intensity and keep your heart rate up so you’re really feeling the burn. My favorite plyos are squat jumps, box jumps, and burpees.
I included a couple of workouts for this post to show you guys what a typical HIIT workout would be for me. Feel free to incorporate these into your fitness routine as well! You can modify the reps or rounds to whatever works for your level of fitness. Whatever you do this week, I encourage you to find your fit. Figure out what kind of workout excites you, and go for it!
1. Each of these exercises can be modified to your level of fitness! For example, I use a set of dumbbells for the reverse lunge to step up move to increase intensity, but this can absolutely be done without weights! Increase or decrease reps. Choose a weight that you are comfortable with. Make it work for you!
2. Active rest periods are key to this workout. Do not, I repeat, do not sit down in between rounds!!! Walk around, step side to side, jog in place if you're an overachiever. Just keep moving.
3. Form, form, form. A lot of these movements involve multiple muscle groups working together. To get the maximum amount of benefit from the exercise, make sure you're completing it correctly. This website is a great source for information on correct form for different workouts, if you are unsure about a specific move.
4. Take a few minutes for some cool-down stretching after a workout. This helps with decreasing soreness and aiding in muscle recovery!