How to HIIT it at the Rec Plex
The snow is finally melted and life is returning to Fairfield. Dreams of warm weather and beaches fill all our heads as we recover for spring break. Not to scare anyone, but finals begin less than five weeks away… while this is obviously V stressful, it does remind us that summer is right around the corner. Just a few more late-night study sessions at the Mez and Tully dates with you besties until we’re all packed up and resuming our lives in our hometowns - which will likely feel so much smaller than we remember.
We all want to head into the summer feeling like our best versions of ourselves - physically and mentally. I know that for me, the best way to achieve both physical and mental success is by going to the gym and working out. When I workout, I am exercising my body as well as my mind. When you’re working up a sweat, your mind is cleared and endorphins are released. This triggers your body to feel more positive and happy. The feeling I get after I finish a great workout is what drives me and motivates me to get to the gym every morning.
If you feel like you want to start working out but you don’t have the time, or don’t know where to start, look no further. A HIIT workout (high intensity interval training) is a training technique in which you give your 100% best effort in a quick, fast-paced and intense exercise for a short period of time, followed by a short, but still active recovery period. These types of workouts can be as little as 15 minutes, while still being far more effective than jogging on the treadmill at a mundane pace for hours.
HIIT Workout 1: Get on a treadmill and start at a comfortable walk, working your way up to a jog. You should be able to sing a song or hold a conversation comfortably. After warming up for about five minutes, you may speed up to a sprint for 30 seconds to a 1.5 minutes. This small interval is your intense period: you should feel uncomfortable. Push yourself, but know your limits. After you finish your sprint, slow back down to your comfortable jog or walk. 15 minutes is all you need to get your heart rate pumping and your metabolism moving, however you can continue this pattern for up to 30 minutes if you have the time!
HIIT Workout 2: Grab a mat and find your own personal space. There is a designated spot for mat workouts on the upstairs level of the Recplex, or there are private rooms in the downstairs portion. For this type of workout, you will do bodyweight cardio exercises followed by a strength exercise to count as your “rest” period. Use this as a template:
30 jumping jacks
5 push ups
25 high knees
30 jumping jacks
1 minute wall sit
5 push ups
25 high knees.
Repeat 2-3 times in order to feel that extra burn. The exercises in italics are your strength/rest movements. Once you feel more confident, you could add small weights to the squats or add some russian twists while holding a dumbell. The key is to listen to your body and have one foot outside your “comfort zone.”
These workout will test your mental strength when you're in that short period of full out intensity, when 30 seconds feels like 30 years (you know what I’m talking about). But trust me- you’ll be rewarded after and so happy that you stuck it out. I personally recommend waking up and working out first thing in the morning. I find that this allows my day to start off on a positive note, and it makes me a whole lot less likely to skip my workout for the day.
With summer in mind, remember that every body is a bikini body: allow yourself to enjoy life and not take it so seriously.
Good luck and go get your sweat on!