Moving in any way burns calories but sometimes a busy life calls for workouts that pack a punch. Sure, you could burn several hundred calories walking at one pace on the treadmill but it would take about two hours to get there. To burn the most calories in the least amount of time, a high-intensity workout that gets the heart pumping and fires up your metabolism while using the largest muscles in the body is the way to go.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has been around since the 1970s but has become all the rage in recent years, topping the list of the hottest fitness trends in 2014. It gained new attention when Japanese trainer and scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata found that this form of training not only increases aerobic capacity, or stamina, but also improves anaerobic capacity, or ability to build muscle.
HIIT is a training style comprised of short, intense periods or exercise at maximum ability, followed by short rest periods. The workout mixes high intensity cardio activities like sprinting and strength training to deliver maximum muscle tone and weight loss in the shortest amount of time, fitting into even the busiest schedules.
The efficiency of this fat burning workout is what makes the HIIT training method so popular. Using the HIIT method, you can even get a super effective treadmill workout in 20 minutes or less. Essentially, it takes 60 seconds of intense activity, then 30 seconds of rest, done 8 to 10 times to maximize results.
Short on time but need to jumpstart your new year? All you need is this HIIT treadmill workout to blast fat and tone muscle in the least amount of time!
Related: 4 Minutes To A Great Tabata Workout
20-Minute HIIT Treadmill Workout
- Start with a five-minute jog at a reasonably steady pace to warm-up and get your muscles ready to go.
- At the 5-minute mark, choose your “high intensity speed” (aim for 10.0) and sprint at that speed for a minute.
- Then, select your rest speed and walk at rest speed for 30 seconds.
- Repeat the sprint at the highest intensity you can maintain adding an incline (preferably, 4.0) to mimic normal outdoor running conditions, and follow with 30 seconds of rest and recovery.
- During recovery, walk at rest speed to lower your heart rate and prepare for the next high-intensity interval sprint.
- Complete 8-10 rounds for a total of 20 minutes, including the workout and recovery.
Cool down with a walk at a lower speed for two to three minutes, and stretch it out to avoid cramping.
Dr. Kimberly S. Clay, aka Dr. Kim, is Executive Director and founder of Dallas-based charity, Play Like A Girl!®, on a mission to inspire women and girls across the globe to live a happy, healthy and active lifestyle. One out of every three American girls is overweight or obese. That’s 5.5 million. Of those ages 12-19, only 4% of girls are physically active. Meanwhile, millions are dropping out of sports due to lack of access and opportunity. Play Like A Girl understands the crisis and is raising awareness nationwide. Follow on Twitter for updates.