Be a HIIT at your gym!

High-intensity interval training will have that weight melting off your body

By Pauline DiGiorgio

stepperWhen it comes to a common goal for fat loss, both men and women can agree on breaking the code to the best possible way of achieving it in the least amount of time.

You can look around your gym and you’ll see both genders killing an hour on a cardio machine to get those extra pounds off. But what if I were to tell you there is a more time efficient way to blast more calories, up your endurance and be out of the gym in 20 minutes tops! Read on to learn more on “Hitting it Right.”

Let’s start off by stating what the HIIT acronym stands for — high-intensity interval training. A simple way to explain this is shifting between periods of intense activity that elevates your heart rate such as sprints to an “active rest,” an example of which would be marching in place.

If you’re not a gym “newbie,” this type of training isn’t a foreign term to you. But recent research shows the fat-melting magic of HIIT isn’t typically done as effectively as it could be.

Improper technique such as not resting during your “active rest” long enough makes those spikes of heart rate more like soft waves and reduces the effect of the workout.

Not only does it “dull” the effects, it can create sloppy form that makes you more prone to injury. I’m here to give you a couple of my favorite easy-to-follow HIIT routines that fight any cardio boredom and gives you the lean, toned look you strive for! One more thing, if you want you may also try the benefits of using a pre-workout supplement, you may get it on Amazon.

Get with the program

— First, always start with a warm up before you jump right in. My go-tos are air squats because they use the larger muscles (legs) and then standing band rows or light dumb bells to open up the chest, back and work those arms.

— Then grab a timer or stopwatch. The first HIIT sequence will be with a cardio machine you may not be use to — the stair stepper. You will start for 30 seconds at an easy, moderate level, then follow with a challenging 30 seconds of step-ups.

To start, place your entire right foot onto the bench or chair. Press through your right heel as you step onto the bench, bringing your left foot to meet your right so you are standing on the bench. Return to the starting position by stepping down with the right foot and then the left so both feet are on the floor.

Lunge forward and focus using the back of your leg while keeping your core up and steady. I really love this type of HIIT versus typical sprinting because your able to work your mid section simultaneously. Complete 10 rounds and make sure to push yourself to the point where you are out of breath by the end of the 30 seconds, and then recover.

— The second highly effective HIIT session will be the dumbbell pop up (use a 20-to-30 pound dumbbell), kettle bell or dumb bell. You’ll start your timer to 30 seconds of “goblet style” squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while letting the weight sink you into a squat position, leaning back on your heels. Then power up and thrust forward with your hips while tightening those gluts and hamstrings. When the 30 seconds are through, switch to weightless slow air squats. Repeat and do 10 rounds.

So now that you have two new super moves to add to your exercise tool box, you’re probably wondering how many times a week you should incorporate this to start seeing results.

Studies recommend about three times a week on non-consecutive days, switching it up with strength training workouts with weights. I promise adding these quick, sweaty bits into your new healthy fitness lifestyle makes a world of difference without taking up more time than putting away the dreaded laundry pile back at home!

• Pauline DiGiorgio is a fitness ambassador and Group X instructor at Retro Fitness gyms. Questions? Email her at