10-Minute Workout

No time excuses with a 10-minute workout.

In our daily hustle and bustle of life getting in the way, climbing on board with a 30 to 40 minute a day exercise plan can be tough to do. But, it’s tough to make the excuse that you don’t have the time when you can do quick workout in as little as 10 minutes and still get the benefits of a good workout. This is done by increasing the intensity of your workout as you decrease the amount of time dedication.

With a high intensity workout, there’s absolutely no excuse for not finding 10 minutes a day to devote to your better health.

Have You Ever Tried Circuit Training?

While some people will workout specific muscle groups on specific days to the week, others what to cram in a complete full body workout routine in the little amount of time they have available for their workouts. A full body workout may entail doing upper body, lower body and ab or core strength training all in one swoop. They might start with the upper body first with a high intensity workout, working the muscles to complete exhaustion, take a very short rest and then move on to a high intensity ab workout; again working that muscle group to complete exhaustion and then move on to the lower body muscles with intensity.

Target Specific Muscle Groups One at a Time

Other people will choose to target certain muscle groups one at a time. Here you don’t want to be working your muscles to total exhaustion and failure but instead, by using two minute timed exercises with a short rest in between, you’ll workout only one specific muscle group in that session. You might go for working out your abs today, your lower body tomorrow, your upper body the next and then repeat the cycle.

Sample 10-Minute Workout Routine without Equipment

Here’s a quick sampling of what a 10-minute workout without using any type of equipment might look like. In a short five minute block of time you could, depending on your physical condition of course, do 50 jumping jacks, 50 knee raises, 50 pushups and 50 set-ups. Stop for one minute and have a few sips of clean, clear water and then do that same 50-50-50-50 five minute routine once again. If time or your physical abilities are an issue, you can even split this 10 minute workout in half and do it at least twice through the course of your day.

Increasing Your 10-Minute Workout Intensity

Now, even though you can get started doing 10-Minute Workouts without the use of any equipment, when your workout routine starts getting easier to do, you’ll need to increase your intensity if you want to continue to get favorable results. To do this, you might want to add some weight or resistance to your workout with something like a kettlebell, dumbbell set, a sandbag or resistance bands – all of which are relatively inexpensive. When you add these to your routine, they will make your muscles work harder and harder while burning more calories faster than you could without them.

Besides the minimal time consumption of doing high intensity 10 minute workouts, you’ll benefit by your metabolism staying revved up for a longer period of time as opposed to doing longer and lower intensity workouts. So, you’ll not only save time but you’ll be burning more calories at a faster; a great side benefit indeed.

HIIT Success Tips

Hit the ground running with these HIIT success tips.

HIIT Success Tip #1 – Start Slowly

If you’ve never worked out at a high intensity before, then take it slowly.  You can either lengthen the rest time between intervals or you can begin with only one HIIT workout per week. As your fitness improves, you can decrease the rest time.

HIIT Success Tip #2 – Pay Attention to Your Body

In general, experts recommend around three HIIT workouts per week. Consider taking a “three days on two days off” approach. This approach allows you to rest just about the time that delayed onset muscle soreness kicks in.

If you notice that you’re not recovering quickly and muscle soreness has you struggling to get out of bed or in significant pain, cut back on the HIIT workouts. Also realize that some weeks are just better than others. You might have a week where you’re on fire and having great workouts with little soreness.

The next week you may be able to barely finish your second workout. This is a sign from your body to ease up. Pay attention to it. HIIT won’t do you any good if you’re injured, and pushing too hard or too fast can absolutely result in injury.

HIIT Success Tip #3 – Know What to Expect and Be Prepared

HIIT will leave you breathless and flat on your back on the floor. You’ll sweat, a lot. You may feel like you just can’t continue. This is why a heart rate monitor is a good idea. It’ll let you know if you’re in the zone.

If your heart rate is over your maximum heart rate or creeping close, you know to pull back a bit. Conversely, if you’re only at 50% of your max then you know you’re capable of more.

HIIT Success Tip #4 – Mix it Up

Interval training can become boring. If you’re doing the same workout every single time, you’ll lose motivation. With a loss of motivation comes a loss of intensity. To stay engaged and enthusiastic, keep your HIIT program varied. You might look to a personal trainer or a cross fit blog to provide workout ideas.

HIIT Success Tip #5 – Measure the Results

It can be difficult to know just how much you’re gaining from HIIT. Consider not only taking a before and after photograph, but also track your fitness improvements.

Did you run a 200 in the fastest time yet? Did you manage to achieve 100 squats in your squat Tabata? By tracking your workouts and your results, you’ll be able to watch your fitness improve and the weight come off.

HIIT Success Tip #6 – Listen to Music

Intense intervals are exhausting. You may need all of the encouragement you can get. Motivating music is often effective to not only make you feel more energized, it also tends to distract just enough that you’re not focused solely on the discomfort you’re feeling.

HIIT Success Tip #7 – Workout with a Friend

Finally, consider starting a HIIT workout with a friend. You can keep an eye on each other’s form, compete with each other, and help one another say motivated.

High Intensity Interval Training Can Get You over a Fitness Plateau

High Intensity Interval Training is a proven way to improve both your anaerobic and aerobic fueling systems. If you’re looking to overcome a fitness plateau and want to achieve a new personal record HIIT can be the single most important change to your existing program. You’ll burn more fat, lose weight quickly, and improve your fitness; and you’ll accomplish all of this while spending less time working out. How cool is that?

Get Started with HIIT

How it works starting a HIIT workout.

Getting Started with HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training

Interval training means alternating between intensity levels. You generally alternate between low and medium to high intensity. High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT for short, leaves no room for anything less than your maximum effort.

But what is your maximum effort?

Maximum effort can be measured a number of ways. One simple method is to first identify your maximum heart rate. There are charts that you can use which take other elements into consideration, however you can also find a general range by subtracting your age from 220.

For example, if you’re 40 years old then your maximum heart rate should be 180 beats per minute. With HIIT the goal is to hit about 95% of your maximum heart rate. Continuing with the example of a 40 year old person then 95% of 180 is 171 beats per minute.

Now a normal resting heart rate is generally around 60 beats per minute. So if you’re almost tripling the heart rate then you can image what it feels like. The good news is that this intensity level only lasts for a minute or less.Then you get to rest.

The maximum heart rate method is only effective if you’re performing a cardio workout and if you have a heart rate monitor. If you’re training in sit-ups or pushups then your heart rate doesn’t apply. Instead, you’re performing the movement as fast as you can until your time is up. In twenty seconds you might get 20 sit-ups or 15 pushups if you’re very well trained. In subsequent rounds the number of sit-ups or pushups is likely to decrease as your body fatigues.

So you can use heart rate to estimate intensity. You can also perform a maximum number of reps in a specific amount of time, 20 seconds for example. You can also estimate your intensity level by simply exercising as hard as you can for the duration.

Here’s an interesting tidbit for you, in studies, women tend to be better able to work out at a higher intensity for a short duration than men, based on measurements of their cardiac output and VO2 Max.

Warm Up Before Getting Started with HIIT

It’s important to identify a means for measuring your effort. There’s no right or wrong method and the method you choose may very well depend on the type of HIIT program you choose. Before we talk about creating your HIIT program, let’s discuss the importance of warming up before you work out.

HIIT isn’t something you just get up off of the couch and do. Warming up is essential for proper form, recovery, and to prevent injuries. Your warm up will depend on your chosen program. For example, if you’re going to do a squat Tabata then you might warm up by jogging a quarter mile and then performing 20-30 slow and deep squats. You want to thoroughly warm up the muscles that you’re going to be using.

If you’re going to do a rowing HIIT workout then you might row a slow 250-meter row followed by 20 squats. Then you’d row a medium intensity 250-meter row followed by 10 squats. You’d finish it up with a hard 250 meters at about 75-80% of your maximum effort. Then it’d be time to begin your workout. Your muscles would likely be sufficiently warm.

Skipping this step can result in injury. Remember, when you’re warming up you’re not just warming up your leg or arm muscles. You’re also warming up your heart and lungs and preparing them for your workout. Work out for at least three minutes before any HIIT workout and make sure you feel mentally and physically ready to begin.

Creating Your HIIT Program

High Intensity Interval Training isn’t something you do every day. Most experts recommend performing this type of workout just three times a week. There are different approaches depending on your fitness level, your current fitness program, and whether you’re starting a new fitness program or integrating HIIT into your existing program.

HIIT for Beginners

If you’re new to exercise and fitness or beginning a new fitness program, then you may want to begin with just one HIIT workout each week. You can then gradually increase the number of workouts depending on how your body is feeling.

For example, let’s say you decide that you’re going to start running. Generally, you’ll probably run three to four times each week. One of those weekly workouts would be a HIIT workout. The others would be running for time or distance at a moderate or low intensity level.

What you’ll find with this type of approach is that your running fitness progresses more quickly. Someone who is beginning a running program and doesn’t include a HIIT workout or two each week will not likely reach their running goals as quickly. With HIIT you might hit your goal of being able to run a 5k at eight-minute mile pace in a few months. It might take another beginner runner a full year or more to reach this milestone.

Sticking with running for a minute, in addition to performing a HIIT running workout, you can also perform other strength training workouts for runners. Lunges, squats, and box jumps are all exceptional workouts to consider. You can do these in Tabata format, which is 20 seconds of work followed by ten seconds of rest. The work rounds are repeated eight times, which equates to four very intense minutes of exercise.

Integrating HIIT into Your Existing Fitness Program

If you’ve been working out for a while and you have reached a plateau in either your fitness or weight loss, then HIIT can help. Without changing your movements, you can integrate a Tabata or interval type plan into your existing program.

Let’s take cycling as an example. If you’re an avid cyclist, either stationary or on the road, you might ride as hard and fast as you can for 20 or 30 seconds. Decrease the resistance on your bike and increase your repetitions to increase the intensity. You should feel like you can’t possibly continue. If you have a heart rate monitor then go ahead and shoot for that 90-95% of your maximum heart rte.

Remaining on your bike, you’ll then ride at a slower intensity for 90 seconds. You should be able to regain your relaxed breathing by the end of those 90 seconds. Kick it back into gear and ride at a high intensity for another 30 seconds. Recover and repeat. You’re done when you’ve repeated the cycle 8 times.

Whether you run, cycle, row or you love the elliptical at the gym, you can easily apply HIIT to your existing fitness program.

However, you may want to mix it up to stay motivated, engaged, and to strengthen the foundation movements for any given exercise. For example, in order to run faster and longer you need strong hip and gluteal muscles. Squats and lunges are two of the best exercises for improving the strength of those muscles. You can integrate a squat Tabata into your regular fitness routine.

You might run at a moderate pace and distance for three days. One day you perform interval runs and one day each week you do a Tabata squat routine. You’ll undoubtedly notice the difference in your strength and speed after just a few weeks of HIIT.

If you’re not interested in starting a regular fitness program, but would rather try a wide variety of exercise routines, consider creating your own HIIT program.

For example, on Monday you might run 400-meter sprints followed by a rest that is exactly as long as it took you to run 400 meters. If it takes you two minutes to run 400 meters, then you rest for exactly two minutes before running another 400. The next day you might perform a sit-up Tabata followed by a pull-up Tabata on the third day. You’d then take two days off.

On your first day back you might do a push-up Tabata followed by a rowing workout and so on. If you take this approach you’ll probably want to plan your week’s workouts in advance so you don’t have to try and figure out what you’re going to do each day.

Remember to warm up before you work out and to cool down too. The cool down may be as simple as walking for a quarter mile. Let your heart rate and breathing return to normal.
We’ve talked a lot about the different approaches to High Intensity Interval training. Let’s take a look at a few different sample training programs. You can use these programs as they’re written or to help you design your own.

Sample Treadmill HIIT Program

Warm up before you start.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Run for 30 seconds at 90-95% your maximum heart rate or as fast and hard as you can run. Rest for 30 seconds. Stop the treadmill and stand or sit. Repeat this process 10 times. If you’re new to HIIT you might rest for 60 or even 90 seconds between each 30-second run.

Tuesday – Rest day.

Thursday – Spot focus. Tabata sit-ups or Tabata push-ups. 20 seconds maximum effort, 10 second rest repeated for eight cycles.

Saturday – Spot focus. Tabata push-ups, squats, or jump rope.

Sunday – Rest day.

The Treadmill HIIT can be changed to be a stationary cycle, elliptical, or rowing machine.

Sample Strength Training HIIT Program

Warm up before you start.

Monday – With a heavy dumbbell in each hand, for example 40 pounds, perform 20 lunges on each side. Rest for three minutes between each round and then repeat four times.

Tuesday – Squat Tabata (you can also back squat, front squat, or overhead squat with a heavy bar 20 reps with a 3 minute rest in between each round). Repeat five times.

Wednesday – Rest day.

Thursday – Rest day.

Friday – 20 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for eight cycles.

Saturday – Pull-ups or push-ups Tabata.

Sunday – Deadlift 20 reps followed by a 250-meter row (or run or cycle). Repeat 5 times.

As you can see, any exercise or fitness program can be easily adapted to include HIIT workouts. Whether you hula-hoop, prefer endurance exercise, or enjoy the gym fitness equipment you can get better results by including a few High Intensity Interval Training workouts each week. Before you get started with HIIT, let’s take a look at “Tips for HIIT Success” for some final tips to help you achieve a positive outcome.

How HIIT Works

Learn how HIIT works then go do it.

Want to Know Why and How HIIT Works?

Chances are your fitness program is primarily cardiovascular. You may walk, run, row, dance or bike. Perhaps you spend most of your time on an elliptical machine, spin bike, or stair stepper.

If you integrate a bit of strength training into your current fitness program then you may have a very well rounded program. And yet you are likely not getting the weight loss and fitness goals you desire. You’re putting in the time and the work but not enjoying the results you truly want.

HIIT can be the game changer, the difference maker, and the solution you’ve been searching for. Here we’ll show you how HIIT works and why it really does produce faster weight loss and fitness results in less time. But don’t take our word for it; let’s take a look at the research and the reason why High Intensity Interval Training is so effective.

Dramatic Fat Burning Results

HIIT has been shown to promote Human Growth Hormone release. This wonderful hormone is a natural one that your body produces. However, as you age the amount of growth hormone decreases. After all, you’re not growing anymore. If you exercise and your muscles and tissues need repair, then HGH is released to help your body repair itself.

When released, HGH also boosts metabolism, burns fat and facilitates muscle building. It also changes the way your body uses and converts energy. Your body does this because it knows you need fuel to repair your muscles and tissues.

The Journal of Obesity reported on a study that showed significant fat burning results after 12 weeks of HIIT. The study focused on young overweight male. They were randomly assigned to a control group or a HIIT group. The HIIT group spent 20 minutes exercising three times a week for 12 weeks.

The majority of the 20 minutes was rest and recovery – between short bursts of intense exercise. And by intense exercise it means that you’re getting up to 95% of your maximum heart rate. The results may surprise you.

The study participants had a reduction of total fat mass that averaged 4.5 pounds. They reduced their visceral fat, the fat under your skin, by 17%. They also showed marked aerobic improvements and their aerobic power increased by 15%.

Some other studies, particularly one published in the journal, Cell Metabolism, seem to indicate that HIIT changes your DNA expression; specifically the genes that are involved in fat metabolism. The study indicates that when you use HIIT as part of your training program, your body automatically turns on the genes that increase your production of lipolytic enzymes, aka fat busting enzymes.

How HIIT Works for Insulin Sensitivity

Diabetes occurs when the insulin receptors become desensitized. It can happen when a person has a diet that is often high in glucose, sugar. The presence of glucose triggers the pancreas to release insulin. However, after a prolonged period of this constant signaling to release insulin, your body begins to shut down those insulin receptors.

When this happens, fat storage is increased because the glucose cannot be processed correctly. So a person with a diet that is often high in sugar – like most Americans – begins to gain weight and take steps toward pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes.

HIIT has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. It makes those insulin receptors work again so your body processes glucose effectively. You don’t store fat, you burn it.

One study looked at volunteers with diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. They performed one interval training session and saw improved blood sugar regulation for the next 24 hours. Other studies have shown that middle-aged adults who are fit but inactive were able to enjoy improvements in their insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation after just two weeks of interval training.

Increased weight loss, fat burning, and insulin sensitivity are all spectacular results. However, you may already be at your target weight and not at risk for Type 2 Diabetes. So what are the benefits for you? Can you get better, faster, and stronger with HIIT? You bet you can.

Aerobic Capacity, Endurance, and Strength

High Intensity Interval Training has shown that it provides improved health and fitness for all. A team of Canadian researchers tested a wide variety of men and women at various stages of health – from healthy to fighting cardiovascular disease. The participants performed cycling intervals. All patients showed significant improvements in their health and fitness.

Surprisingly, the cardiac patients showed great improvements and the intense exercise didn’t cause problems for any of the patients.

According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as six to eight weeks of endurance training – Shape Magazine

If you’re training for a race or you want to get over a fitness plateau then HIIT may be the ideal program for you. One study found that after eight weeks of doing HIIT workouts, participants could exercise twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.

We’ve already mentioned a few of the compelling benefits for integrating HIIT into your current fitness program. Namely, they’re:

  • HIIT burns a ton of calories
  • More efficient, and shorter, workouts
  • Enjoy faster results
  • Boost metabolism
  • Increased fat burning

However, there are other benefits we’ve yet to discuss. They include:

  • You don’t need any equipment to participate in HIIT.
  • It’s applicable to just about any workout. From running to weight lifting, you can add HIIT to your program and enjoy results.
  • You continue burning calories and fat long after your workout is over.
  • It’s seriously challenging, so you won’t get bored.
  • It’s quite fun and easy to add to your weekly routine.

So you’ve read the data and you know the facts. You know that if you want to burn fat and get in shape fast then High Intensity Intervals are for you. But how do you get started? Let’s take a look at “Getting Started with High Intensity Interval Training” next and take a look at a few sample HIIT fitness plans.

High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training gets more popular.

There are many different approaches to fitness, weight loss, and exercise. As science progresses and more research studies are conducted, new strategies surface. Additionally, as more people become active and start a fitness program, awareness for different techniques and approaches grows.

Introducing High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT

One such approach is called High Intensity Interval Training “HIIT”. It’s a type of training that was actually pioneered by different people at different times. The training that you see today is an adaptation and combination of the initial approaches.

HIIT is an advanced form of interval training. Interval training consists of putting in a moderate effort for a specific period of time and then cranking it up. For example, interval training for a runner might include running at an 11-minute mile pace for five minutes, followed by 8-minute mile pace for one minute. You’d alternate this intensity level for a few cycles.

HIIT is Like Interval Training on Steroids

There’s no steroid use here but HIIT takes it up a notch and truly increases the intensity. With this type of exercise the athlete puts forth a period of high intensity effort followed by a short rest followed by another period of high intensity. One of the most notable HIIT formats is called the Tabata. It is 20 seconds of intense effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated for 8 cycles, or four minutes total.

The Tabata workout can be applied to a number of different exercises. For example, you can squat as many times as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat. You can do pushups, pull-ups, or sit-ups.

You can jump rope or sprint. You can ride your spin bike, row on the rowing machine, or do burpees or lunges. Try the Tabata workout with your favorite movement and experience just what intensity really means.

Another example of HIIT for a runner might be a series of 200-meter sprints followed by 30 second rests. You might sprint on your bicycle for a quarter mile and then slow down to a casual pace to recover. You can apply HIIT to any cardio or strength fitness exercise.

There are numerous considerations before starting a fitness plan that includes HIIT.

Pros and Cons of High Intensity Interval Training

The pros of HIIT are numerous, so we’ll take an in depth look at the research in the first chapter. For now, it’s important to know that HIIT results are astounding.

  • Fast weight loss
  • Less workout time
  • Improved strength
  • Improved endurance
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Better fat burning
  • Decreased abdominal fat
  • Decreased insulin resistance
  • Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease

So the pros look pretty strong, right? They are. You can truly burn significantly more fat and calories in less time. It means that if you don’t have the time to run for an hour a day but you want the same, or better, results, then HIIT may be right for you.
The Potential Risks of HIIT

With every fitness program and workout, there are risks. The same is true for High Intensity Interval Training. The very nature of the workout means it may not be right for people who have a high risk of a cardiovascular episode. Meaning that if you’ve had a heart attack or are at a high risk for having one, please talk to your doctor before beginning a program like this.

If you are older or have other health complications, it’s also important to talk to your doctor. In most cases you can embrace a HIIT program as long as you do it under supervision. It’s also critically important to pay attention to your body and to fuel it well. We’ll talk more about proper self-care for HIIT later.

So Who’s High Intensity Interval Training Right For?

HIIT is right for you if you:

  • Want to lose weight quickly
  • Have hit a fitness plateau and want to see improvements
  • Have hit a weight loss plateau
  • Enjoy intense workouts
  • Are looking for a new and exciting fitness program
  • Want to get rid of those “problem areas”
  • Are pre-diabetic and want to increase your body’s insulin sensitivity

These are just a few reasons to try HIIT. Let’s move forward and take a look at some of that research mentioned earlier. Understanding “Why and How HIIT Works” will help you create a strong fitness program for yourself.

Shortcuts to Getting Six Pack Abs?

Finding the shorcut to the six pack.

This is an excellent question and it does make me smile. There was an info product created by an excellent marketer claiming to provide shortcuts to getting a six pack. The whole fitness community online was in an uproar calling the guy a snake oil salesman, liar and other things I shall not mention here thus avoiding giving this article a PG 13 rating.

The fact of the matter is that there are no shortcuts. That being said, I can also understand what the marketer was trying to mean when he said ‘shortcuts’. He meant getting the best results in the least amount of time.

Is this possible?

Yes, but there is a price to pay. However, I’d gladly pay that price.

Let me explain. If you do a slow cardio workout such as jogging for 60 minutes, you will burn about 250 to 300 calories during those 60 minutes. However, once you stop, your metabolic rate will drop and taper off real fast. Your body will not be in fat burning mode for the rest of the day.

High Intensity Interval Training Burns Fat with Effectiveness

However, if you engage in a high intensity interval training (HIIT) for 30 minutes which involves sprinting uphill for 1 minute. Then resting for 1 minute and sprinting back downhill for 1 minute and you repeat this 15 times, you may not have burned as many calories as the 60 minute jog but, this is where it gets interesting…

The 30 minute workout will leave you gasping and panting because of the sheer intensity. You will be sweating profusely and your heart will be pumping like crazy. What you have done is create and oxygen deficit and an afterburn effect. Your body will now be burning fat for the next 8 to 10 hours. Some studies have shown that the fat burning effects last for up to 18 hours.

The point to note here is that a 30 minute workout has more benefits to your six pack quest than an hour long workout. Is this a shortcut? Definitely. You spent less time and burnt more fat. Is there a price to pay? Yup! You truly suffered during your workout. It was tiring and painful. Was it worth it? Hell yeah!

The same applies to weight training or resistance training. You can go to the gym and spend an hour doing bicep curls, tricep curls and using the calf raise machine. You may even take a 10 minute rest with every set or ogle like a fool at the girl with the hot pants on the treadmill. Will that be effective?

Nope. Instead, you may go and do a 45 minute workout that involves compound exercises such as deadlifts, snatches, renegade rows, pull-ups, etc. with minimal rest time and you would have achieved more in 45 minutes than someone who spends 90 minutes doing slow or moderate workouts.

Is that a shortcut? Yes!

Price to pay? Yes… pain and effort.

Worth it? Yes definitely.

So, in this case, shortcuts do not mean an easier way but a faster way to achieve results while working your butt off. The shortcuts are more tiring. They save you time by making you more efficient but they are tough.

I’d suggest training hard and tough for shorter periods. It’s more challenging, fun and the results that come sooner will motivate you to do more. Next thing you know, you’ll be the guy at the gym with a six pack that other guys are only dreaming of.

Learn More about Fitness and Making Six-Pack Abs Your Reality

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