10/20/30: Is this new HIIT routine the key to getting fit faster?


Inspired by one of my lovely class participants who has been following celebrity workouts recently, I’ve decided to experiment with a new High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class routine – can’t wait to hear what you think!

All my HIIT classes aim to raise your heart rate with some cardio exercises, such as squat jumps, lunge jumps etc. I also include resistance training with weights, bands or balls to tone muscle, shed fat and improve bone density, not least to stave off our chances of osteoporosis as we age.

Specific core exercises for those all-important abdominal muscles that support and protect our spines and posture are also vital.

The secret of different intervals

I structure these exercises in a logical way around regular – but different – intervals, including 30/30, 40/20, 45/15, and 50/10/60. Pure HIIT exercises are Tabata style: 20/20, working you to exhaustion, and often reserved for training track athletes.

So it was with interest that I took a look at a brand new HIIT protocol, based on a study from the University of Copenhagen that quickly became known as “10-20-30” (also known as 30-20-10). The researchers’ goal was to create a fast, easy and effective workout that would motivate runners of all fitness levels and training history.

“The numbers refer to a one-minute sequence of low- (30 seconds), medium- (20 seconds) and high-intensity (10 seconds) running,” according to the study. “When done in three or four “blocks” of five minutes each, preceded by a brief warm-up and interspersed with a two-minute rest, the 18 runners in the study dramatically boosted their performance in 1500-meter and 5-kilometer runs in just seven weeks—despite cutting their total workout time in half.

“The 1500-meter runners improved their times by 23 seconds, and the 5k runners showed a one-minute improvement. The regimen also reduced the subjects’ blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which is typical of endurance training, even among untrained subjects.”

The entire routine can be completed in 20-30 minutes and is flexible enough for people of all fitness levels.

Applying the science

Most experts canvassed for the above article found the results encouraging, especially because the routine is quick, easy and effective.

While the research was conducted with runners, I’ve decided to experiment with this approach in our HIIT classes, depending on your feedback – starting with a bit of hold and pulse in our toning exercises!

We’re already combining different elements from my various classes - our core section is often Pilates/yoga type work from my Stretch & Tone classes, and our toning exercises and other elements such as ‘time under tension’ are sometimes inspired by Kettlercise.

I hope you feel a little intrigued and look forward to seeing you soon for an exciting new HIIT class!

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