As a fitness professional, I’d heard of HIIT workouts at home before, but I can’t say that I’d done many before 2020. You see, I was more of a “barre girl” due to my ballet background. But that completely changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s about the time when my studio (and every studio/gym) closed and I lost my fitness job. On top of that, I became my kids’ teacher when their school closed.
So even though I was jobless, my time was no longer my own and I found myself really missing fitness. It had always given me a great sense of purpose, balance, and strength (check out my back story here). During those 1st months of the pandemic I was forced to exercise at home without any equipment (because everything was sold out), with less time than ever, and within a small shared workspace. And that’s when it happened. I found out about HIIT workouts at home and everything changed!
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. By design, HIIT workouts are comprised of bursts of intense work followed by short rest periods. This type of workout manipulates your body’s energy systems to burn a tremendous amount of calories per minute, boost your metabolism for hours (thanks to an “afterburn effect”), and assist in the reduction of fat (especially abdominal body fat). It’s a super effective and quick way to crush fitness goals especially if you’re striving to boost cardiovascular endurance and build muscle strength. In addition, it’s hard to get bored during a HIIT workout because your mind is constantly engaged; therefore, time literally flies by. Last but not least, HIIT workouts can be adapted for any fitness level by: 1) the exercise selections, and 2) altering the work to rest time ratios.
While you may have known about some (or all) of those benefits, what about HIIT workouts at home? Check out these 7 little known benefits of doing HIIT workouts at home!
1. Minimal Equipment Requirements
As I mentioned earlier, I started doing HIIT workouts when I barely owned any fitness equipment, we were in the middle of a pandemic, and gym equipment was sold out everywhere (and/or extremely overpriced). All I had was my body weight, so that’s what I used. And you know what? It was still a challenging workout! HIIT workouts utilize plyometrics (i.e., jumping movements) and speed to increase your heart rate and build muscle. Plus, there are so many variations for planks, pushups, and lunges to keep things challenging! But that’s why you don’t need a lot of fitness equipment to have an effective HIIT workout at home. You just need a clear workspace (so you can move around), a mat, maybe a pair of dumbbells (but not necessary), and the commitment to work really hard for short periods of time.
2. Place Flexibility
Do you love to exercise outside? You have complete flexibility to move your workout to your backyard or your favorite park. All you need is a timer and a workout plan. And this applies to travel as well. HIIT workouts at home really take away excuses for not exercising while you’re traveling. You can create enough space within a hotel room to move around, and all you need are some sneakers and workout clothes. You’re ready to go!
3. Time Flexibility
Are you more of a morning person? Then you should do your HIIT workouts at the crack of dawn. Do you come alive at night? Perhaps you should schedule your HIIT workouts after work. HIIT workouts enable you to fit in exercise even with the busiest schedule. In fact, you can break up a 30-minute workout into 3 segments and do them throughout the day. This gives you complete flexibility to do your HIIT workouts at home when it’s most convenient for you.
4. Time Efficient
Here’s what you can count on when you do HIIT workouts at home: they won’t take up a lot of your time; you don’t have to worry about commuting to/from the workout; you won’t need to find a parking space; and you could save money by not buying a gym membership (since they are just as effective as a gym workout). If you’re doing a HIIT workout by yourself, you have the flexibility to tailor the workout based on the amount of time you have. Even if you only have 15 minutes, that’s enough time to do a super effective Tabata HIIT workout. Here’s how: a traditional Tabata round consists of 8 sets working for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds (that’s ~ 4 minutes total), so 3 rounds can be completed in 15 minutes. Check out this example of a 4 minute Tabata (below). It’s amazing how much good you can do for your body in a small amount of time!
5. You’ll Look and Feel Amazing
HIIT workouts at home are a great way to build muscle endurance. Even if you don’t have aspirations to be the next top fitness model, building muscle strength is highly beneficial. Not only will you look fabulous in your clothes, but building muscle strength increases your metabolism. It also enables you to easily complete normal everyday activities like playing with your kids and carrying bags of groceries. You’ll also improve your cardiovascular endurance, making it easier to climb a flight of stairs while carrying bags of groceries. And when you do strenuous activites like HIIT, your body releases something amazing called endorphins. Those endorphins boost your mood, give you a positive outlook, and help you feel amazing.
Lots of people feel self-conscious when they workout at a gym. They might be concerned about not fitting in, not wearing the right gear, not making friends, etc. With HIIT workouts at home, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Your sole focus is the workout. That’s it. And when you have a singular focus, you can direct all of your attention there. Plus, you may feel more inclined to try new exercise challenges that you wouldn’t necessary try in public (for fear of looking awkward). So working out in the privacy of your own home gives you the freedom to workout without worrying about what others may think.
7. Quick Workouts = Big Impact
Just because a HIIT workout at home is quick doesn’t mean it can’t pack a big punch. First, quick workouts are an effective way to break the monotony of work, invigorate your thinking, and boost your productivity. Have you ever gotten stuck while working on a work project? Stepping away to do a quick workout is a great way to clear your head, feel refreshed, and ready yourself to tackle the work project head on. Second, quick workouts make it easier to stay consistent with your exercise plan and reach your fitness goals. Why? Because they don’t require as much of a time commitment. Third, it has been proven that consistent exercise helps you make better food choices. As stated in this article, some research suggests that high intensity exercise stimulates your brain and changes what your body wants to eat. And last, short periods of exercise can increase your lifespan. Check out this study, which found that 15 minutes of exercise per day increased lifespan by 3 years. That’s fascinating!
Have I sold you on HIIT workouts at home? I hope so because I love to share the joy of something that has truly impacted my life. HIIT workouts enabled me to start teaching fitness during the pandemic and I’ve had the honor of helping others reach their fitness goals within the comfort of their homes. Annnnddd, this leads me to a big announcement…
Wellness With Wendy is HERE!
I’m super excited to announce that Wellness with Wendy on-demand fitness classes are here! I have on-demand HIIT classes, barre fusion classes, and stretching classes available right now. All you have to do is press the play button! I also offer modifications for many exercises, which means they are accessible to most people. So, if you’re just starting out, or if you’ve been working out for some time, I’ve got you covered! And here’s the best news: new subscribers get their first 7 days FREE! So what do you have to lose? Hit the button below and join me today at wellnesswithwendytraylor.com. I can’t wait to workout with you!
I’m SO looking forward to you joining the Wellness with Wendy community. Don’t wait– sign up to start working out with me today!
Mrs. Traylor is a Fitness Instructor, NASM Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach, AFPA Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist, wife, and momma who provides actionable advice for positive lifestyle changes with fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Read about Wendy’s inspiring entrepreneurial journey, and subscribe to Wendy’s newsletter here!