Let's take this outside


Forget boring hours spent on the treadmill or exercise bike staring at a wall and going nowhere. HIIT is a guaranteed way of stripping fat, building muscle and boosting our well-being while in the great outdoors. Q&C resident fitness expert Glenn is on hand to show us more.


As far as British summers go, this year’s has been one of the best, and with temperatures still relatively mild, it makes sense to maximise our time in the great outdoors. Exercising outside is a great way to enhance your fitness level and increase the total satisfaction you get from your workout.

According to research at the University of Essex “green exercise” improves self-esteem, vitality and mood. It also benefits your lagging Testosterone levels. It was found that just 15-20 minutes spent outdoors can increase testosterone levels by up to 120%. So make the most of your lunch break. HIIT also gives a natural boost to human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for stripping away belly flat, improving your insulin sensitivity, and building muscle, while increasing your levels of circulating testosterone. 

The best things in life are free, so they say, as is a great sweat session in the park. You can breathe in cleaner air (no murky gym air-con), enjoy the scenery and also get a healthy dose of Vitamin D while the sun is still out.

I mentioned last time about how I like to mix up my fitness regimes, focussing on muscle gain resistance training and cardio and for me the best form of cardio I can recommend is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).

What is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training is a form of exercise in which you alternate between various exercises at a very high level intensity for short bursts followed by a very brief or no resting time between the next exercise. The following are just a few benefits you can get from HIIT. 

Challenging - I love pushing myself and seeing those results. HIIT workouts offer seasoned exercisers a new challenge and beginners a quicker way to see results. Through HIIT you’re constantly pushing yourself and I promise you won’t get bored. 

No equipment necessary - All you need is a little open space and a can-do attitude! HIIT workouts utilise your own body weight to get your heart rate up quickly such as high knees and mountain climbers. Weights can often make a HIIT workout less effective because your main focus should be getting your heart rate up rather than toning a muscle group. 

 It takes no time at all! - It is shown that just 15 minutes of HIIT has a bigger effect than one hour of jogging on a treadmill. So if like me you have a busy day but still want to stay in shape, interval training is a great way to save time and still stay healthy. 

Burn calories and fat long after your session - Intense exercise such as this means your body repairs go into hyper drive and so this will boost your metabolism. A higher metabolic rate means you will continue burning calories and fat up to 24 hours after your HIIT. 

Health - Interval training decreases blood pressure and also increases the levels of mitochondria in your blood that helps fuel both your muscles and your brain, with also the ability to increase your endurance and your overall ability to perform physical tasks. 

Its win win! - The amazing thing about HIIT is that its allows you to maintain muscle mass / build muscle while also burning calories and losing those extra pounds.

Apart from all the above reasons to fall in love with HIIT, it’s the variety I enjoy, you can construct your own routine to suit you. The workout can change daily and it can be a whole body exercise or you can narrow it down to that muscle group you want to focus on. Why not use this Indian Summer to get out in your local park and have a go?

HIIT routine:

Find some flat floor space, keep water handy and make sure you are warmed up properly. I find star jumps are an effective and quick warm up.

1) Star jump warm ups

2) Squat touch the floor

3) Break dancer

4) Drop split lunge

5) Press ups walk hands left and right

6) Mountain climbers

7) Hands in press up and jump both feet to right side and back to start

Do each move for 20 seconds with little to no rest between moves. Do 3-6 rounds resting 1-2 mintues between rounds.

Your love of HIIT starts now. And the results will soon follow. See my go-to HIIT workout. 

You can keep up with Glenn on instagram: @gmainwaring