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Smarter HIIT Workouts

sandbag exercises

I love the fact we do things now at DVRT differently than we did even just a few years ago. By being able to connect with so many great coaches DVRT keeps evolving and getting better. That means we can offer you better information and training programs. So, there is a benefit to you in us getting better too;) 

Some of the professionals in the industry that I respect the most are those that say, “yea, I use to believe this, but then I found out THIS was better!” It shows a value that we really believe in, it isn’t about being right, it is about doing what IS right. As we gain better information we can do so much better for the results we can provide others. A great example is a topic we have discussed a lot, that is the power of doing smarter HIIT workouts. 

People still believe that HIIT workouts are simply about making one as tired as possible. The reality is if you focus on HIIT workouts that way, you actually get further away from the value that HIIT workouts can provide. While there is no ONE way to create HIIT workouts, there are several ways that are better!

Increasing Intensity & Building Work Capacity

We have discussed a lot that most people prescribe HIIT workouts by increasing the length of the work time and decreasing the rest time. While that may outwardly seem like a lot of sense, the reality is that it takes your workouts from high intensity to moderate intensity. Think about it, if I said I want you to sprint as HARD as you can for 15 seconds versus sprinting as hard as you can for 60 seconds, do you think you would see a difference in speed? Of course you would! Decreasing that speed is actually decreasing your intensity. 

Strength Coach, Robert Dos Remedios, has been integral in how we have evolved our DVRT HIIT workouts. Coach Dos (as we affectionately call him) was the one that pointed out that most have their HIIT workouts backwards. Instead of increasing work time and decreasing rest time, we should reverse it! In doing so, we increase the load and the force/power we develop. 

sandbag workouts

Outwardly, HIIT workouts of an interval of 15 seconds of work followed by 45 seconds of rest would seem like a breeze. However, if I gave you a load you could only get 10 reps with and said you need to get 6-8 in just 15 seconds, things change A LOT. Your intensity goes through the roof and that 45 seconds goes by surprisingly fast! 

In fact, most people can’t work at the intensity, not initially anyways. That is why Coach Dos actually uses the classic framework of 30:30 intervals. The real point of 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest is to both build up work capacity of the body and proficiency in the exercises. After all, if you don’t have technical proficiency you will NEVER be able to hit the time frames for the HIIT workouts we really want to achieve. 

You just don’t casually perform 30:30 HIIT workouts either. Typically we are looking to nail 12-15 repetitions in that time frame. Now, that may change for exercises like plyos, kettlebell swings, or motions that have very quick fluid motions to them. Those drills we may be looking at more like 20-25 repetitions. This gives you instant feedback if you are using enough load in your HIIT workouts as well. 

Most people just don’t use enough load either. This lack of intensity prevents us from achieving the EPOC (exercise post-oxygen consumption) where all the “good stuff” of HIIT workouts lies. Where we can stimulate our metabolism for up to 36 hours post-exercise if we work at the right level!

sandbag training

So, if this is a better way to perform your HIIT workouts why don’t more people use it? To be honest, because it is HARD!!! You think your high intensity training before was challenging, these take it to another level. Especially when you look at one more level of HIIT we can use. 

Recovery from your HIIT workouts is so important that we plan recovery training into the cycles as well. While we have discussed using really high intensity schemes like 15:45 or 20:40 in your programs, moderate ones like 30:30, we can use one more level to facilitate recovery, but still build up the body. These are represented by 60:60 intervals. 

Obviously these are drills that require more time under tension or longer periods of work. Great examples are DVRT marches, loaded carries, battle ropes, jump rope, or loaded mobility training. Selecting 4-5 exercises in this manner (or many times even less) is a great way to use this interval scheme. 

What would a week of HIIT workouts look like in the manner we are speaking? Here is an example week…..

Day 1: 15:45 intervals

Day 2: 30:30 intervals

Day 3: Off

Day 4: 20:40 intervals

Day 5: 60:60 intervals

Day 6 and 7: Off

The term “off” refers to no interval training. That can be a day of stretching, walking, low intensity work that keeps us active and helps us recover from the training of the week. Using such a strategy helps us maximize the benefits of HIIT workouts, use them correctly, and avoid overtraining in our programs. 

Doing things differently are okay if it means we are doing them better! That is why when you try our DVRT workouts with the REAL science of HIIT you will notice a huge difference in your results (you can read about it more HERE). 

There are other issues like selecting the RIGHT exercises and putting the pieces of the puzzle together. We have tried to take the guess work out of the programming of your HIIT workouts for you though when Coach Dos and I teamed up to bring you our DVRT Metabolic Resistance Training (MRT) program. Over 80 workouts that are designed to bring about the best of your HIIT workouts so that you can combine the best of science and real world application!

Save 25% on our DVRT MRT program with coupon code “summersale” and see the difference of smarter HIIT workout programs HERE!