Revitalize Your Fitness with a 20-Minute HIIT Workout for Max EPOC Effect

Are you looking to take your workouts to new heights? Say goodbye to monotonous routines and hello to a 20-minute HIIT workout that will revolutionize how you approach fitness. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has taken the fitness world by storm, and for good reason. This efficient workout method combines short bursts of intense exercise with brief recovery periods, ensuring you get the most out of every minute spent in the gym. Not only will this save you time, but it will also boost your metabolism and continue burning calories long after your workout is over, thanks to the phenomenon known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC Effect). Get ready to supercharge your fitness journey with this quick yet powerful workout that promises maximum results in minimum time.

After a hard workout, we often experience satisfaction and a boost in mood thanks to the release of endorphins. But another type of boost is happening as well. EPOC Effect, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, you may have heard of this referred as the “afterburn” effect. EPOC is the increased oxygen your body consumes and calories it burns as you return to a resting state following a workout. This metabolism boost means the effects of your workout can last long after your cool down. In simpler terms, EPOC refers to how many calories your body continues to burn even after your workout has ended.

When you exercise, the fuel used by your muscles can be produced using aerobic pathways (with oxygen) or anaerobic pathways (without oxygen). Workouts that rely on anerobic pathways can increase the body’s need for oxygen afterward, thereby increasing the EPOC effect.

What is HIIT Exercise?

Studies show that HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is the most effective way to spark the EPOC effect. HIIT is a “burst and recover” training method, alternating extremely intense periods of activity with periods of rest. When you push your body to its limits, your muscles will rely on anaerobic pathways for energy. This energy will be immediate, but in very limited quantities. You won’t be able to sustain maximum effort for long periods of time. The rest or low intensity period is just as important. Forcing your body to repeatedly shift between high intensity and rest provides excellent cardiovascular conditioning and can lead to increased endurance and speed.

There is a direct relationship between the amount of energy used during a workout and the effects of EPOC. A 20-minute HIIT workout will require more EPOC than a long, slow run, for example. With the crazy schedules most of us have, this is exciting news! You may also increase the EPOC effect by employing more major muscle groups during your workout. The key is focusing on intensity rather than duration.

How to Design a HIIT Workout?

When designing an HIIT program, variables to consider include duration, intensity, frequency, and the ratio of work to recovery time. A change in any one of these variables will necessitate changes in the others. The work interval can last anywhere from 10 seconds to 8 minutes depending on fitness goals. Power athletes will work for shorter intervals than endurance athletes. Intensity should range from 80%-100% of heart rate maximum for the work phase and 50%-70% for the recovery phase. The ratio is typically 1:1 (e.g. 2 minutes of work and 2 minutes of recovery) or 1:2 (e.g. 2 minutes of work and 4 minutes of recovery). The ratio should be chosen with specific training principles in mind for individual fitness goals.

Is HIIT Worth the Hype? Does HIIT Achieve Better EPOC?

The answer is a resounding yes. One of the main reasons why HIIT is worth the hype is because of its efficiency. With just 20 minutes of intense exercise, you can achieve similar if not better results than spending an hour on the treadmill or lifting weights at a moderate pace. This means that even on your busiest days, you can still fit in a powerful workout that will leave you feeling energized and accomplished.

Another reason why HIIT deserves its acclaim is due to its effect EPOC. And guess what? HIIT workouts have been shown to increase EPOC significantly compared to other forms of exercise like steady-state cardio or resistance training.

So yes, when it comes to fitness and getting the maximum impact in minimum time, HIIT truly lives up to its reputation. Whether you want to torch those extra calories or take your endurance levels up a notch, incorporating HIIT into your routine will undoubtedly give you noteworthy results – so what are you waiting for?

Tips for HIIT Exercise

  • HIIT is a convenient form of exercise when your time is limited.
  • HIIT workouts that involve bodyweight or added weight, like medicine balls, can increase the EPOC effect.
  • Choose exercises that allow you to be explosive and keep your heartrate at or above 80% maximum for the greatest EPOC effect.
  • Because you’re working out at high intensity, technique is very important. Make sure you can do an exercise with proper form at lower intensity before going all-out.
  • Allow 48 hours of recovery between HIIT workouts.
  • Make HIIT Fun! HIIT and a Hike are a perfect combo!

3 HIIT Workouts to Get You Started!

Anxious to get started on an HIIT program? Choose the three options below. From a beginner HIIT workout, utilizing only two pieces of equipment. To a Distance or the Speed option.

Workout #1 -Beginner HIIT, Utilizing Only 2 Pieces of Equipment!

What You’ll Need:
SMART Medicine Ball
Agility Ladder

Time:  23 minutes

Warm Up: 5 minutes light jog

3 Rounds

  • SMART Medicine Ball:  Lunges – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 60 seconds
  • Agility Ladder:  Jumping Jack Feet – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 60 seconds
  • SMART Medicine Ball:  Mountain Climbers – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 60 seconds
  • Agility Ladder:  High knees, two-feet per rung – 60 seconds
  • Rest – 60 seconds

*Agility Ladder exercises may also be done with the SMART Medicine Ball to increase intensity.

Workout #2 – Go the Distance to increase endurance.

Time:  Aprrox. 45 minutes

Warm-up: 10 minutes light jog

Frequency: 3 or 4 reps

  • Work zone: 800 meter run at 90% of heart rate max
  • Recovery: light jog for same time as 800 meter run (1:1 ratio)

Cool-down: Light jog for 10 minutes followed by a stretching session with the SMART MAT!

Workout #3 – Go for Speed

Time:  Aprrox. 45 minutes

Warm-up: 10 minutes light jog

Frequency: 3 sets of 10 intervals with 4 minutes rest between sets

  • Work zone: maximum running speed starting with the Smart Acceleration Ladder and continuing for 20 seconds.
  • Recovery: light jog back to starting point of ladder (1:2 ratio)

Cool-down: 10 minutes light jog followed by Smart Recovery Foam Rolling

Are you ready to HIIT it? “No time for exercise” is no longer an excuse!

Watch our Cardio SMART Medicine Ball Circuit Video on YouTube!

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