A couple of weeks ago, I asked y’all in the QOTW what your favorite work out was. It didn’t surprise me at all that the elliptical won out. The elliptical is a great way to get your cardio in while avoiding the injuries you’re at risk for while running. What I’ve found, however, is that those 20+ minute elliptical sessions where you maintain a steady 150 RPMs (rotations per minute) are not only boring, but pretty ineffective.
More and more research has come out regarding the advantages of HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. When doing a HIIT workout, you alternate between performing at a 10 (“Holy $%#*, my legs are going to fall off, I’m going to puke, I hate this, I can’t do another second, holy $%#*), and a 4-6 (“Oh, cool, got through that, this isn’t so bad”). By working your body as hard as it can during those short but tough intervals, you trigger what’s called the afterburn effect, or your body’s ability to continue burning an increased amount of calories even after you stop working out. Holy $%#*, right?!
Here’s a HIIT set I designed using the Little method for the elliptical, but you could really use it for any form of cardio– running, cycling, swimming, etc.
Adjust the RPMs as you see fit, these are just guidelines and will vary according to your fitness level. Read more about the HIIT, Little method, others here!