High Intensity Interval Training 101
What is high intensity interval training?
HIIT or high intensity interval training is a workout technique used by professional athletes and advanced fitness enthusiasts to build strength, speed, stamina and endurance.
HIIT helps increase your overall performance by allowing you to step out of your comfort zone while working out. This is done by alternating between two intensity levels: the recovery phase and the high intensity phase.
The first phase is the ‘recovery phase,’ meaning your MHR or maximum heart rate will be in the range of 40% to 50%.
The second phase is the ‘high intensity phase.’ This is the challenging part of your workout. You are going to increase the overall intensity of your exercise so that your maximum heart rate will reach the 80% to 85% range. HIIT ensures that you are comfortably challenged throughout your workout.
Is HIIT for everyone?
HIIT is recommended for healthy individuals who can safely perform moderate to intense exercises for short periods of time. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure or a related health condition, it would be best to ask your doctor if this type of training method is safe for you.
If you are generally healthy and are up for a new challenge, then you’ve found the perfect method! HIIT is used worldwide to improve athletic performance and speed up the weight loss process.
The main benefit of HIIT is that it can help double your results while halving your actual workout time.
Studies have shown that people who regularly work out at higher intensities also have higher metabolism and are able to burn off calories more efficiently. There is also evidence that people who increase their metabolisms through HIIT exercises continue to burn off calories up to 32 hours after their workouts!
Why does HIIT work?
People are enjoying amazing results with HIIT because it directly influences a person’s physical performance and pushes the body to burn large numbers of calories within a shorter time period.
A single HIIT exercise does not require 20 or 30 minutes to finish. A complete HIIT workout that involves numerous exercises may last this long, but a typical HIIT exercise only lasts for a few, short minutes.
Within this short timeframe, the body explodes with energy and your total aerobic capacity is put to the test. The result is often spectacular: no muscle group is spared and you will feel like you have been working out for hours.
HIIT is destined to replace steady-state exercises because it provides a host of advantages that are difficult to replicate with conventional, single-intensity workouts.
Can you manage HIIT?
The answer to this question is a resounding “yes!”
People often complain that high intensity interval training is too tough. Let me be the first to say that it is normal for a person to feel this way because that is exactly the nature of HIIT. HIIT scales up the difficulty level of an exercise to challenge your body to make it fitter.
If you are feeling anxious about challenging yourself in order to reach your fitness goals, having a fitness partner can make all the difference. A fitness partner or “gym buddy” can help motivate you to keep going even if your muscles are aching and your mind is telling you to stop.
What are the advantages of HIIT?
HIIT is a powerful technique that you can use for the rest of your life if you start making your body healthier now. HIIT can provide you with a host of advantages, including the following:
- Less Body Fat – Women who exercise at higher intensities can burn up to 15 calories every sixty seconds. This is an impressive number considering that many steady-state exercises like walking can only an average of 150 calories per hour. If you want to tone problem areas like the hips and calves, HIIT definitely has you covered.
- Healthier Heart & Lungs – HIIT continually challenges your heart and lungs. As a result, the body adapts to make your body readier to perform at a higher level. When your heart and lungs are prepared to perform at higher intensities, your endurance soars and you will require shorter recovery periods in between exercise sets.
- Less Time, More Results – As I have mentioned before, HIIT burns more calories within a shorter amount of time. Studies show that the number of calories burned in a 10-minute HIIT session is equivalent to the calories burned in a 20-minute steady-state or single intensity workout.