[HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has exploded in popularity in the last few years. Why? It works! If you want HIIT to work for you, it is important to understand how to properly do it and how to effectively incorporate into your exercise routine.
HIIT is performing short bursts of high intensity exercise (like sprints) with brief periods of rest. For example, you might sprint the straightaway of a track and slow jog the turns and repeat for 8 or 10 “sets” (intervals).
With interval training you will get a high calorie burn DURING and AFTER your workout (up to 39 hours!) Due to the intensity of HIIT training, you will see an increase in excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means your metabolism will stay elevated for hours after you are finished the exercise, allowing you to burn more calories even at rest.
Numerous studies have shown that HIIT improves aerobic (“with oxygen”) and anaerobic (“without oxygen”) workout capacity, speed up metabolism, improve endurance, and accelerate fat loss. It has also been shown that intense interval training actually increases aerobic capacity to a better degree than traditional low intensity aerobics.
So how do you use HIIT training effectively? These workouts can be incorporated into your exercise routine 2-4 times per week. Due to the intensity of these sessions, it is best not to do HIIT sessions on back to back days. Keep your sessions short! They should not exceed 20-minutess per session. Performing HIIT too frequently can lead to overtraining, burn out or injury.
One of the other great benefits of HIIT is that you do not need equipment! You can do sprints outside or use bodyweight exercises like burpees or mountain climbers. While HIIT can be done anywhere, you can certainly perform HIIT sessions on a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical or jump rope.
Incorporate HIIT training sessions with a good quality resistance training program and you’re on your way to fat burning, lean muscle building success!
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