Instead of being nervous about doing your work sets, get excited to see how far you can push yourself each time. The thing about HIIT is that it allows you to get stronger not just physically but psychologically. It builds your mental grit in a way you likely haven’t experienced. So approach the challenge in a big-picture way — use something I call the “wonder line.” Wonder if you can get just one more rep in before time’s up or achieve that next progression in the movement, whether that’s adding an incline to your sprints or jumps to your squats. This is the true magic of a HIIT routine — once your mind is on board, your body will follow.
Another motivator: With high-intensity intervals, remember that there is always rest waiting for you. Unlike with other training systems, such as steady cardio or regular sets of weight lifting, your muscles spend less time under tension. But those next-level blasts are meant to get them to a higher work capacity much faster (with you reaping the beneﬁts of a bigger caloric burn and increased strength). The rest intervals give you the opportunity to recharge just when you need it — and knowing that should help you be a bit braver in those work bouts. Plus, the more you feel yourself get stronger each time you push yourself, the more you realise your limits are boundless.
JEN WIDERSTROM IS A FITNESS EXPERT, LIFE COACH, AND THE BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF DIET RIGHT FOR YOUR PERSONALITY TYPE.
PHOTO CHRIS FANNING