You’re a Mom. You’re up early. You’re to bed late. And all the hours in between are filled with the multitude of duties required to, well, keep your kids alive and help them thrive.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard a ton about HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. This type of workout is trending right now because a lot of research has come out to support the effectiveness of this type of training. They’re short duration, high intensity, get in-get out type of workouts. Perfect for busy Moms.
Definition of HIIT – bursts of high-intensity work followed by active recovery (rest).
Definition of high intensity – 85 – 95% maximum effort. Think about when you workout and you’re pushing as hard as you can push, these workouts as that you work just below that effort.
Definition of active recovery – move your feet, it’s as simple as that.
The workout involves 20-60 seconds of “just below” maximum (or maximum) effort (8-9 on the Rate of Perceived Exertion, RPE, chart below) and then 20-60 seconds of active recovery, RPE of 4 (depending on your workout). Why-oh-why would you want to do that?! Simple. These workouts take no longer than 30 minutes, but you create a calorie burn lasts HOURS. And hours. And hours.
Let’s break it down. Your low and slow workouts, meaning low intensity, slow pace and what I call now slow metabolic burn workouts are longer in duration and take up more of your time. You burn calories WHILE your workout. Once you’re done working out, you’re done burning extra calories.
HIIT workouts are high intensity and fast-paced. Once you finish your HIIT workout, you can burn extra calories for hours (some studies report increased metabolic rate for up to 18 hours after you finish working out).
More calories burned = increased ability to lose the weight you may be trying to lose.
Okay, okay…there are some pros and cons to this workout that I better tell you about.
First the cons:
- It is difficult to push yourself to maximum. Some people just cannot get there and for these workouts to be at all effective, maximum effort needs to be achieved.
- There is an increased risk of injury with this type of workout, so find someone who knows what they’re doing and work with them.
- Some days, it’s psychologically very difficult to amp yourself up for the workout, so you may decide to skip it.
- Sometimes after a HIIT workout you have a major dip in energy about an hour after you’re done. So, if you need to go to work after, you may not be as productive as you or your boss would like.
Now the pros:
- I’ve already discussed the increased calorie burn AFTER you’ve finished working out, but it bears repeating. The entire point of these workouts is the increased calorie burn. You get more burn with less time working out.
- Short duration. Moms are busy. Moms are so very busy, but if we scrounge, most of us can find 20 minutes in our day.
- Many individuals see improvements in their fitness level quicker with HIIT workouts. When individuals see improvements it often motivates them to continue with the workouts and not “fall off the fitness wagon”.
- Some people can pump themselves up easier for a 20 minute workout vs a 60 minute. If you’re that type of person, this type of workout will speak to you.
Listen, I know life is busy. Moms, well we have a ton of stuff to do every single day. But your fitness is also important. So, while you’re busy trying to fit 36 hours of work into a 24 hour day, maybe a quick HIIT workout is just what you’re looking for. Maybe it’ll help make working out a little less daunting and a lot more effective!
You in? Good. Off you go!