The Best HIIT Workout? The 10-20-30 HIIT Formula

The best HIIT workoutResearchers at the University of Copenhagen have developed a promising new HIIT (high intensity interval training) formula.   The 10-20-30 HIIT training protocol has been shown to dramatically improve running performance, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

These results are typical of most endurance training but what makes this method stand out is how time effective it is.  The subjects in the study who used the 10-20-30 method only trained 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes.

The 10-20-30 method is based on a one minute running sequence: 10 seconds of maximum intensity running, followed by 20 seconds of medium intensity running, and 30 seconds of low intensity running.  Once the runners had warmed up they would preform five rounds of this one minute running sequence then rest for 2 minutes.  These seven minute blocks of running and rest were repeated three or four times each training session.

One of the most appealing features of the 10-20-30 HIIT workout is that it can be adjusted to suit individual fitness levels.  Other HIIT studies have implement much longer maximal intensity intervals, some as long as 30 seconds.  The longer intervals have demonstrated similar results to the 10-20-30 method.  However, these longer intervals are very taxing and may not appeal to individuals who are just looking for a quick workout to improve their general heath.

How to use the 10-20-30 HIIT method

The University of Copenhagen study   only applied the 10-20-30 HIIT formula to running.   If you want your results to be similar to the study, you will need to use the formula for running.

  1. Warm up with dynamic stretches or light jogging.
  2. Sprint at full speed for 10 seconds
  3. Don’t pause but decrease your speed to a medium pace for the next 20 seconds.
  4. Decrease your speed to a slow paced jog or brisk walk  for 30 seconds.
  5. Immediately return to your 10 second sprint
  6. Repeat this cycle for five minutes and then rest for two minutes.
  7. Following the rest period, start another five minute block of running.
  8. Continue this pattern for 20-30 mintues.

The pace of each interval will depend on your individual fitness level.  The important thing is to challenge yourself at the appropriate leve for each phase of the 10-20-30 running sequence.

There has not been any research to define the effects of the 10-20-30 method on other types of exercise.  However the method could be easily applied to other types of exercise.  Two types of exercise that would lend themselves nicely to this format are jumping rope and cycling.

10-20-30 jumping rope

  1. Warm up with dynamic stretches or light jogging.
  2. Jump rope as fast as you can or do double unders  for 10 seconds
  3. Don’t pause but decrease your speed to a medium pace for the next 20 seconds.
  4. Decrease your speed to a slow jump or skip rope  for 30 seconds.
  5. Immediately return to your 10 second fast jump
  6. Repeat this cycle for five minutes and then rest for two minutes.
  7. Following the rest period, start another five minute block of jumping rope.
  8. Continue this pattern for 20-30 mintues.

10-20-30 cycling

  1. Set a spin bike up so you’er in proper form.
  2. Warm up with dynamic stretches or light ridding.
  3. Set the resistance at a light-medium to heavy-medium level, depending on your fitness level.
  4. Sprint at full speed for 10 seconds
  5. Don’t pause but decrease your speed to a medium paced ride for the next 20 seconds.
  6. Decrease your speed to a slow paced peddle  for 30 seconds.
  7. Immediately return to your 10 second sprint
  8. Repeat this cycle for five minutes and then rest for two minutes.
  9. Following the rest period, start another five minute block of running.
  10. Continue this pattern for 20-30 mintues.

 

 



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