High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has becoming popular because it is an effective way to train with maximum time efficiency. Use these tips to incorporate HIIT into your elliptical workouts.
HIIT can incorporate both cardio and strength exercises, but the basic concept is alternating moderate intensity periods with shorter bursts of very rigorous intervals. It can be as simple as jogging for 2 minutes and then sprinting for 15-30 seconds throughout a workout session. Or it could be cycling interspersed with quick intervals of burpees or mountain climbers.
The duration of the intervals can range from 10 seconds to 2-5 minutes, and the overall workout typically lasts 4-60 minutes, depending on preferences and goals. One common HIIT formula is a 2:1 ratio of work to recovery periods – i.e., 30 seconds of sprinting followed by 15 seconds jogging or walking. But performing 30 seconds of jogging followed by 15 seconds of sprinting is also workable.
A popular form of HIIT is Tabata, which is comprised of 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles), and then can be performed again with different exercises for a sustained workout session.
HIIT can be done in a group exercise class, with a trainer, using cardio equipment and weights or just on your own inside or outside with running and calisthenics.
HIIT examples include:
- Cardio and strength – Whether you are on a treadmill, elliptical or bike, you can hop off every few minutes for intense weight training exercises, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, planks and more.
- Weight Training – Create a strength training HIIT session by lifting heavy weights for maximum effort, followed by a short recovery, and repeating for multiple sets and various exercises.
- Calisthenics – Alternate high intensity moves like jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers and more with slower-paced exercises like push-ups, crunches, bridges and Pilates or yoga moves.
- Take a class or try a DVD – Check at your health club for HIIT classes, or try a DVD for home workouts.
Research shows that HIIT burns many calories and can reduce body fat and boost metabolism. It also builds stamina and overall conditioning for improved athletic performance. And it’s ultra-efficient, so there’s no excuse for not squeezing in a quick workout.
However, due to its high intensity, HIIT should NOT be performed everyday, but instead incorporated into a balanced regimen that may include steady-state cardio, strength training and other formats like Pilates, yoga and flexibility exercises.
Elliptical Workouts for HIIT
Elliptical machines are one ideal option when it comes to performing HIIT because they are low-impact and engage the entire body (rather than just the legs, for instance). And you can choose from a traditional standing elliptical, a recumbent elliptical (Octane’s xRide), Octane’s LateralX lateral elliptical or the new all-in-one XT-One cross trainer.
A convenient way to incorporate HIIT training into elliptical workouts is with CROSS CiRCUIT on an Octane Fitness elliptical. Here, you select 2-3 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, seated elliptical, LateralX or XT-One, and the machine prompts you to perform strength training exercises for one minute. You can pick from hundreds of exercises that use body weight, Octane’s Powerbands and PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells, so you can target major muscle groups, upper-body only, lower-body, core and more.
With CROSS CiRCUIT elliptical workouts, the workout options are virtually endless, particularly if you take advantage of Octane’s SmartLink app, which provides multiple workout plans and more than 225 exercises to help you benefit from HIIT and reach your goals. What’s great about CROSS CiRCUIT is that you can take advantage of HIIT while you complete ultra-efficient workouts that combine both cardio and strength – all for greater effectiveness.