HIIT Training w/Sprints

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and this style of exercise is intense because it is intended to rapidly increase heart rate, breathing rate, muscle fatigue, and reach exhaustion quickly. HIIT can be structured in a variety of ways by manipulating the timing structure and the type of exercise.

For example, in the video below I explain my HIIT session with sprinting (running really fast). My goal was to complete 12 intervals (or sets) of a 60 second sprint then a 30 second walk in less than 20 minutes. In other words, I sprinted for 60sec then walked for 30sec twelve times. I explain my love/hate relationship with this style of training. My dislike is only in the moment of complete exhaustion. My love for it is it’s rewarding mental benefits.

Elda talking about her HIIT with Sprints and her psychological benefits. Source: Elda Negrete’s YouTube Page.

In the video I explained how else HIIT can be applied. Here are some other examples:

  • 20sec sprint/10sec rest on a stationary bike
  • 30sec sprint/15sec rest on an elliptical machine
  • 60sec sprint/30sec rest on a rowing machine
  • 20sec WORK/10sec REST with a group of bodyweight exercises such as:
    • Squats (As many squats as possible in 20sec)
      • rest for 10sec
    • Push-Ups 20sec
      • rest for 10sec
    • Squat Jumps 20sec
      • rest for 10sec
    • Incline Push-Ups 20sec
      • rest for 10sec
    • Pop Squats 20sec
      • rest for 10sec
    • Crunches 20sec
      • rest for 10
    • START BACK ON TOP W/SQUAT and repeat for desired number of sets

Search for a “Tabata Timer” on your phone apps and download a timer to help keep track of your time structure. Most apps come with an alarm, beeps or bells to let you know when to sprint and when to rest.

Source: Google Play Store, App Logo for “Tabata Timer: Interval Timer Workout Timer HIIT”

My favorite Tabata Timer is called “Tabata Timer: Interval Timer Workout Timer HIIT” and can be downloaded via Apple Apps or Google Play.

I found research information that further explains how these psychological benefits happen in the brain on http://www.foreverfitscience.com in an article titled “Can HIIT Improve Mental Health?

HIIT is the only kind of training style that has shown to immediately boost the production of 2 hormones in charge of chemical messaging called glutamate and GABA. Low levels of these chemical is associated with depressed moods and even MDD (Major Depressive Disorder). Similarly, HIIT can alter brain function by boosting a protein called BDNF which is involved in brain functioning and mood. Low levels of BDNF are associated with depression and bipolar disorder. This suggests that HIIT can help with mood regulation and increased brain function.

Other benefits of HIIT is knowing that you do not need to spend hours working out. In fact, performing HIIT for as little as twice per week for a total of two weeks is enough to cause a significant reduction in symptoms of both depression and anxiety. Location is another reliever because you can exercise in this manner virtually anywhere, no gym or gym equipment is needed.

Have feedback, thoughts, or want to share how exercise affects your mental health, let me know in the comments below!

Per this blog’s disclaimer, statements made here are not for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All the information contained in this blog is for educational and informational use only.

Published by coachelda

Hi, I’m Elda! Personal Trainer, Powerlifting Coach, Full-Time Psychology Student...when my head is not in books, I will use this blog to share my love of exercise, exploring positive mental health practices, and other favorites with you.

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