I've been reading a lot about High Intensity Interval Training, and it's beneficial metabolic effects. It really appeals to me because I am very committed to getting in shape again but don't have lots of time to devote to it. Has anyone tried this? Does it work? Any suggestions for someone getting started? TIA!
I tried HIIT for a while with running. If you are not already doing a pretty high level of cardio stuff, HIIT will make you puke. Even if you are used to running really hard, you'll want to puke. It is absolutely grueling. It definitely works, but you have to be able to power through it and keep doing it after those first few workouts make you want to die. The intervals that are high intensity are like "lion chasing you about to kill you" speed, not "a brisk run."
There's a great ipod/iphone app called "Seconds" that lets you sync music to your high intensity and low intensity intervals that I highly recommend. I stopped doing HIIT while going through a yoga teacher training because with that I was doing 90-360 minutes of yoga a day and I didn't want to lose body fat to the point that I would lose fertility. I'm pregnant now, and as soon as my health postpartum permits, I plan to start doing interval training, and eventually transition to HIIT again.
If you're not already in fantastic cardiovascular health, you might try doing lower intensity intervals for a few weeks/months to build up your endurance before jumping into HIIT. I think the intensity of that first workout for a beginner (if you are one) might just make you want to never do it again.
I hope that's helpful!