“I don’t have time.” That’s the truth many of us choose to hold on to when it comes to going to the gym, attending spin or aerobics classes and playing madalas soccer. While others will start dishing out life philosophies🗣️ of how you make time for the things you want, I on the other hand understand that jumping up and down won’t recharge your ZESCO meter when it starts beeping. I get it. Exercise shouldn’t take up a significant portion of your day unless of course that's how you make your coins💰. For those that don’t have the time I want to share a few quick ways to improve physical conditioning and general health through high intensity interval training (HIIT).
HIIT - What is it?
High intensity interval training is exactly as the name suggests; it involves alternating between intense activity (maximum effort) and resting periods for a set period of time or until exhaustion.
How can you implement it?
Select any activity of your choice and perform a 1:2 ratio of activity to rest for at least 10 minutes total and at most 20 minutes total. For example, exercise intensely for 20 seconds and rest for 40 seconds. Repeat 10 times for a total of 10 minutes. Chapwa.
Recommended HIIT exercises:
Quick and easy to do with minimal equipment. Jump rope hard for anywhere from 20 seconds to 1 minute and rest for double the amount of skipping time. Repeat for as long as you can tolerate for a period not exceeding 20 minutes.
Boxing 😤 🥊
Chanel your inner savage and remove your chifukushi on a punching bag for anywhere from 20 seconds to 1 minute and rest for double the activity time. So, 20 seconds Mike Tyson, 40 seconds umuntu ku tusha. Repeat 10 times and you're done!
Explosive body weight exercises (star jumps, high knees, jump squats, burpees, push-ups)
Select individual exercises or mix it up in a circuit - whatever you feel like doing. You just have to do something for anywhere from 20 seconds to 1 minute and rest for double the activity time. So, get busy for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds. Repeat 10 times. No equipment is required and you can do these from virtually anywhere.
Road Cycling/Stationary Cycling 🚴🏾♂️🚴🏾♀️
If you own a stationary bicycle or a road bike get on it and ride hard for anywhere from 20 seconds to 1 minute and rest for double the amount of time. Repeat for as long as you can tolerate for a period not exceeding 20 minutes.
Road Running/Treadmill Running/Sprints 🏃🏿♂️🏃🏾♀️
Run hard for 20-60 seconds and rest for 40-120 seconds. Repeat for as long as you can tolerate for a period not exceeding 20 minutes.
Download the 7 App and follow the instructions. It’s free and effective. 7 minutes of guided interval training and you’re done. Stick to a maximum of 3 circuits.
Core principle: Stick to a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes. Go hard for 20 seconds to 1 minute and rest for double number of active time. Fitter individuals can opt to match the activity to rest periods in a 1:1 ratio for a more challenging HIIT session. Remember to warm up for at least 5 minutes prior to engaging in HIIT training to prime your body for the intense workout and help avoid injury.
Tip: Download the Seconds Interval Timer HIIT app from the App Store. It’s free and will help you keep track of the active and non active phases of your interval sessions.
The benefits of interval training are vast and the suffering you’ll have to endure will be short lived. Give it a shot if you don’t have more time to commit to exercise but wish to maintain some level of physical conditioning. Doing something no matter how small is always better than doing nothing.
Push yourself —> Rest —> Repeat