The eight-minute HIIT workout for people who hate using the treadmill
Losing weight is less about the specific kind of cardio you perform, and more about sticking to a consistent plan
You don't necessarily have to use the treadmill if you don't want to. And let's be honest here, how many people really want to hammer away at the same old cardio machine?
There are far better ways of using your gym membership. Such as this five-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. All you need is a pair of relatively light dumbbells or kettlebells and some floor space.
Why HIIT workouts get the job done
Years ago, people assumed running and running and even more running was the only way to burn fat with exercise.
This is now well-known to be false. Firstly, unless you're in a calorie deficit with your diet you'll struggle to lose any weight. Regardless of the training you're doing.
However, over the last decade or so HIIT workouts have become hugely popular. They're great for a number of reasons:
- Time-efficient training
- Ease of location
HIIT workouts are characterised by periods of high-intensity work interspersed with short rest periods. This is distinctly different from that plodding 45 minutes you'd do on a treadmill.
Eight-minute HIIT workout
As above - all you need is some light dumbbells/kettlebells and floor space. This can be done anywhere - home, gym, park or even the office. Get permission from the boss first, though.
Here's what the workout looks like:
- Mountain Climbers
- Squat Thrusts [with dumbbells]
- Star Jumps / Jumping Jacks
Perform each exercise for 20 seconds, maximum intensity. Rest for 10 seconds. One round will take you two minutes. Repeat for four-rounds.
Why is this HIIT workout effective?
It essentially follows a Tabata principle, which was popularised by the exercise scientist of the same name behind China's training for the 1996 Olympic Games.
This particular workout was put to the test in a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
Scientists had participants perform this version for four minutes with extremely light dumbbells, and even then the benefits were still immense.
They found this style of training was as effective as sprinting in boosting your cardiovascular fitness.
When is best for treadmill running?
If you're training for a sport-specific purpose, i.e. to smash a personal best running or in preparation for a half-marathon, then of course, treadmill use is necessary conditioning.
But it's not a prescriptive piece of kit if your goal is weight loss in general or a different sport.
This workout is proof you can burn fat, boost your fitness levels and improve your cardiovascular health with whatever equipment is available. Just make it something you can stick to.