Originally Posted by brew
I have a question about HIIT while working on a elliptical what type of duration should I go for and should I up the resistance during the HI part? This morning I was on for 45mins started with a moderate pace for 15 mins then upped the resistance and went as hard as I could for about 3mins (I know I am out of shape), slowed it and dropped it down and stayed there for about 5 mins then picked it up again for another 2mins ( Yesterday was legs and they still are sore), dropped it down for about 10mins, and did my best for 5 min but the intensity was down just because of the shape I am in (I hit 205bpm by the end and had to slow down) after that I just sorta did a cool down.
So, do I have the right idea or do I need to pick up the intensity? Longer intervals???? I have to build a base to work from so can you help with some HIIT goals?
Personally, I think the elliptical is one of the worst pieces of equipment to use for HIIT. It's damn near impossible to get to a true sprint on those things. (again, just my opinion here. Some people think it works well enough)
If I'm not able to use a track or run outdoors for HIIT, I use either a treadmill or bike, depending on my sprint/recovery times. Longer sprints, I use the treadmill. Shorter sprints I use the bike.
Now, in terms of your sprint/recovery periods I think you're trying to go too long. Your sprint phase should be an all out, as hard as you can go kind of thing. Personally, the longest sprint times I've done with HIIT is 90 seconds. And I wanted to puke after every one of those active periods. So, no offense intended, but with you listing 2 and 3 minute sprint periods, you weren't pushing yourself nearly hard enough for that duration of time.
What you were doing on the elliptical is plain ol' interval cardio. HIIT and regular intervals are two different things, although they're often confused as being the same. Have you read through the HIIT article on here yet? It may help you understand things a little better...
And for HIIT, you don't want to do more than about 20 minutes worth, and no more than 3 times a week. I know it doesn't sound like much. But it works great, and the extra bonus is less time strapped to a piece of cardio equipment ;)