HIIT, Barre, Circuits… are we talking electronics here or what? If you’ve been workout-minded in the past year, you’ve probably been struck by all the mysterious new ways to get your fitness on.
Here, I’ll explain the 5 that have really stood out and captured the attention of trainers and their clients everywhere from New York to L.A. I’ve also included my personal tips on choosing the best match for you.
HIIT stands for “high intensity interval training” and it’s just what it sounds like. Moves involving heavy weights, isometric holds, or explosive bursts of effort are followed by “recovery” periods of lesser intensity.
The beauty of HIIT is that it’s an incredibly effective, powerful workout that doesn’t allow for any slacking off at all. Even the “recovery” periods aren’t what you might think. They’re not called “rest” periods, and that’s for good reason- you’re still working hard (a typical recovery might be doing squats, for example).
If your goal is overall loss of body fat and you have minimal time, HIIT is a good option (but only if you are truly motivated to work very hard- it’s an intense workout!).
Some of you may have read that I used barre during my pregnancy. It was perfect because although it was low impact, it still delivered a fantastic and challenging workout. And after I had my son, Barre really helped me get my body back in shape. It manages to hit all those fine muscles and leaves you feeling more energized rather than completely wiped out.
If your goal is improving strength but you want to keep it low-impact,Barre is great – especially if you enjoy the classroom vibe. You’ll just want to supplement this workout with some light to moderate cardio on your off days.
Here Stacey Bosworth Maupin and I are just finishing up a Barre training. You can check out her classes out at CoreLotus.com
Tabata is HIIT on steroids. It was created by a Japanese man who didn’t have much time or space to exercise so he created these quick intense workouts. When I teach Tabata, I always remind everyone that if they can make it through 20 seconds of treachery, they’ve got Tabata down pat. Not to worry though, practice makes perfect. The intervals here are literally half a minute each! 20 seconds on, 10 seconds of rest… and that’s true rest, not recovery like in HIIT. It is for four minutes total – so you get 8 rounds of kick booty workout. The most effective four minutes you can imagine!
If you want to work out at home and burn fat, Tabata might be a good option.
This is HIIT but toned down a bit. The emphasis is on getting results from a very short workout, just like in HIIT. And, just like in HIIT, you cycle between aerobic and anaerobic activities every few minutes or so, with sets lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. The entire workout lasts 15 minutes to half an hour.
If you’re new to working out, or not ready for HIIT and your goal is to burn calories, interval training is a good option.
Like HIIT, circuit training uses high-intensity aerobics to burn fat and increase endurance. It’s been around since the 1950s and I’ve taught it for years- it’s an old stand-by I return to all the time to get my clients in shape the old-skool way. Think military-style workouts: push-ups, burpees, squat jumps, skipping… anything you can do outdoors without equipment is often a part of my circuit training routines (although dumbbells are often part of it too!).
If your goal is to lose fat and build muscle, but also get a cardiovascular effect try circuit training.
I’ve taught all these workouts except Barre, and I love to talk about them, too. Got a question? Shoot me a line and I’ll write back (with probably more than you’d ever want to know about these workout types and more!).
I do respond to all of the comments and answer your questions too!
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if you haven’t already
I would be HONORED if you would consider doing any/all just ’cause you’re so darn fabulously sweet 🙂