Most folks exercise because they want to build some muscle, burn some fat, and feel confident in a bathing suit. Most folks are also extremely busy and claim they have no time to exercise. The good news is we can accomplish all of these goals without spending countless hours in the gym. Having an extremely versatile piece of equipment, such as a Total Gym, also helps matters.
How Do We Accomplish Our Goals?
Enter High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. This interval style of training is a great way to get in, get results, and get out of the gym and on with your day. Basically, HIIT workouts are sessions that involve alternating between short, intense efforts of movement followed by easy and active rest. The duration of these intervals can vary and largely depends upon the individual.
It’s important to understand that the efforts are meant to be done with high intensity. Remember the ‘H’ in the ‘HIIT’ acronym stands for ‘High’, meaning just that. Too many times people claim they are performing HIIT workouts and Tabata workouts (A popular HIIT style workout) but sadly they are not performing them at the proper intensity. These are designed to be uncomfortable and to be performed with an intensity that makes you welcome the rest periods.
These interval sessions can come in many shapes and sizes. You could use a variety of equipment, a variety of sets & reps, different time breakdowns; you are really only limited by your imagination. For beginners, it’s smart to begin with a short intense effort followed by a much longer rest period. For example: perform 10 seconds of burpees completing as many as you possibly can followed by 50 seconds of rest. This rest duration should allow your heart rate to begin to come down a bit before you start your next set of burpees. An easy way to progress this workout would be to change the work-to-rest times…so for week 2, work for 15 seconds and rest for 45 seconds.
What Is An OTM Interval Session?
A fun yet challenging HIIT workout is an “OTM” or On The Minute set-up. These commonly involve 2-3 different exercises completed for anywhere from 20-30 minutes. For this sample workout, we will complete 3 different movements in 24 minutes.
How It Works – Set a timer for 24 minutes. Hit start and complete the first exercise. Let’s say it takes you 25 seconds to complete the prescribed number of reps. You will now get the remainder of that minute, so 35 seconds, to rest. On the next minute, 23, you will begin the second exercise. If that one takes 20 seconds, you get the remaining 40 seconds to recover. For the next minute, 22, you complete the third exercise in the same format. At the top of the fourth minute, 21, you return to the first exercise and start again. With this set-up you will complete 8 total sets of the 3 movements.
This is a great way to efficiently get a good amount of work in. When you monitor your rest periods, it really changes the game. Too many of us waste time in the gym, especially between sets. We check our phones, flip through a magazine, etc. With this on-the-minute routine, you have to stay focused on the task at hand. And that primary task is to work hard and get results.
Let’s take a look at an OTM HIIT workout in action:
Movement 1. Lower body – Glideboard hop-overs
Movement 2. Upper body pull – Plyometric pull-ups
Movement 3. Upper body push – Plyometric shoulder press
These prove that you can absolutely get an effective, efficient, full-body workout with little time. Enough with the, “I just don’t have any time” excuse. It’s not a matter of time, it’s a matter of priorities. Make your health a top priority in your life.
Doug Balzarini, CSCS, MMA-CC, is a trainer, coach, presenter, and the founder of DB Strength. He is the co-owner of a fitness facility outside of Boston called, “Iron Village Strength & Conditioning”. He was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Alliance Training Center where he worked with many top professional MMA athletes. Visit www.DBStrength.com or www.IronVillageSC.com for more information.