Tuesday, November 22, 2011


A couple weeks ago, I gave the Biggest Losers a killer cardio workout based on high intensity interval training (HIIT). A friend of mine calls this type of workout the “Death Run!”

You’ll often see HIIT programs show up in fitness magazines. While they might change the progressions and work and rest intervals, or even use different workout platforms, they’re all pretty much the same thing.

You can do them on treadmills, ellipticals, or a bike, but say you’re on the treadmill and you’ve never done any running. After a 5-minute warm-up walking at 3.0 mph, turn the speed up to 4.0 mph. This is about the slowest possible speed that you can still be running (anything slower and you’d just be walking fast).

Whatever it takes, keep jogging at 4.0 mph for exactly 1 minute. If you’ve been seriously overweight, or just haven’t ever been a runner, even that slow pace might get difficult. Force yourself to hang in there for a minute.

At the end of the minute, back off the speed and take it down to 3.0 mph and walk for a minute. By the end of the minute you’ll be ready to go again. This time, take it up to 4.5 mph and jog for a minute, and then walk a minute at 3.0 mph.

Now run at 5.0 mph for a minute and then walk a minute at 3.0 mph. Next do a minute at 5.5 mph and another minute walking. Then do a minute at 6.0 mph, a minute walking, and then a minute at 6.5 mph, followed by another rest interval. If you think you can do it, try a minute at 7.0 mph with a minute rest, and then a minute at 7.5 mph and a minute rest.

Don’t worry if you can’t make it the full minute at the higher speeds. Do what you can, and then jump off (feet to the sides on the rails) while holding on to the handles. Then just walk a little extra. Later, you’ll be able to finish the full minute.

Do five minutes of cool-down at the end. That will be 5 minutes for warming up, 16 minutes of work/rest intervals (6-8 minutes running, 8 minutes walking), and 5 minutes cooling down. That’s only about 25 minutes, so I don’t want to hear you don’t have time to work out.

As you get better, you can always add a couple faster intervals to make your HIIT last longer.  Or, you can do 90 seconds or even two minutes of running. If you’re already a runner, try faster speed intervals and back down to a comfortable jogging pace for your rest intervals!

These workouts will give you a longer after-burn, which means you’ll burn more calories, which will help you lose the weight faster. You can follow the same program on an elliptical, bike, rower, by simply increasing the work levels, while keeping your rpm (speed) the same. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at www.facebook.com/tomdolanfitness !

This week’s Biggest Loser was Vince Porter, who lost 2.1% of his body weight and 4.8 lbs. Michelle Clark placed second, losing 1.8% and 2.6 lbs. Sande Sherer was third, losing 1.7% and 3.0 lbs, and Kara Englum finished fourth, losing 1.5% and 2.4 lbs. Michelle and Sande also represented the Biggest Losers in the Marshall 5K Turkey Trot!

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