The Benefits of HIIT and Weight Training v.s. Long Runs on the Treadmill
I first discovered my love for fitness through high school cross-country. I loved distance running and would run 9 miles a day. I was eating horribly. My daily diet consisted of fast food, ice cream, and soda. My body was slender from the cardio, but definitely out of shape. I had no curves and was not happy with my stomach.
When I switched to weight training I was able to sculpt the body that I had always wanted. I was not a naturally curvy girl, but through squats and heavy lifting I saw significant improvements. My waist tightened, my butt lifted and rounded, and my legs were shapely. I had created a more feminine figure through lifting.
There are numerous health benefits to cardio. Cardio increases your metabolism, improves your heart & lung health, releases “feel good” hormones, reduces stress, and even increases your overall energy. The biggest misconception about cardio is that the longer you do it the better. Tiring hour long runs on the treadmill are not necessary! Your body will plateau and you will not be reaping in the benefits of your hard work. Rather than focusing on doing a length cardio workout focus on the intensity of that workout. This is where HIIT comes in.
What is HIIT? HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a form of working out that focuses on short intense anaerobic exercises. I like to do HIIT sessions after my weight training and they usually last 20-30 minutes.
Here is a sample of my HIIT workouts:
15 Jump Squats
15 Alien Squats
15 Jumping Lunges
15 Weighted Ball Throw Downs & Catches
50 Jump Ropes
10 Sprints Across Room (Jog Backwards Back)