HIIT, otherwise known as high-intensity interval training, is taking the fitness world by storm, with the latest body bootcamps in full support. If you haven’t hit up the HIIT before, keep reading to learn more on why this type of training has got to be part of your new workout regime.
So, what exactly is HIIT anyways?
HIIT is an exercise technique centred around 3 main components:
- Heart Rate
When doing a HIIT workout, you essentially put 100% effort in short bursts of fast and intense exercise to get your heartbeat up, which is followed by a short (or moderately active) recovery period.
- Time – short, and quick bursts of exercise (5-8 minutes)
- Heart Rate – put 100% effort into these exercises bringing your heart rate up (70-90% max heart rate)
- Recovery – short, and moderate periods of recovery (30-120 seconds, with a 60-65% max heart rate)
For example, a basic HIIT workout could involve jogging for 2 minutes, then a hardcore sprint for 30 seconds, a jog for 2 minutes, another sprint for 30 seconds, and so on. You should be going all out during the sprint, bringing your heart rate up through the intensity. The jogging gives your body a chance to recover, then you get right back to it, bringing your heart rate up again through the sprint.
Cool, but what’s so good about it?
Burn fat quicker
HIIT is an efficient way to burn calories quickly and effectively, more than your traditional workout. Unlike many other exercises, when performing HIIT, you continue to burn calories after your workout, thanks to what’s known as your “EPOC”. EPOC, is your excess postoxygen consumption, which is the post-exercise period. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, during this post-exercise period, your body is using even more energy than typically required to restore your body to pre-exercise oxygen levels, thus burning additional calories on top of the workout.
Better cardiovascular health
Most workouts don’t push you to the point where you feel like you’re going to projectile vomit all over your new Nikes. But HIIT does. And that’s a good thing. HIIT workouts push your heart rate high, generating extreme results. This type of aerobic and cardiovascular training helps to develop a healthier heart and circulatory system. Don’t believe us? Just ask our friends over at Harvard.
It's a time-saver
Perfect for the busy, young professional – HIIT workouts save you so much time. Rather than spending 2 hours at the gym, running on the treadmill and pedaling on the bike – save yourself the hassle and work your body hard with interval training. HIIT workouts can be effective in only 30 minutes, so take back an extra hour in your day and shorten your workout with better results.
It's easy to administer
No gym membership needed. No equipment necessary. These workouts may be high in intensity but they’re low in maintenance. Jump squats, lunges, and anything plyometric, are just a few examples of some HIIT moves. Although you can incorporate dumbbells into your training, leave the heavy weights at home and get ready to move quick.
It's a real workout
In other words, HIIT workouts will kick your ass, no matter what shape you’re in. Used to chatting with a friend while running on the treadmill, or texting while on the leg press? With HIIT workouts you’ll be going so hard you’ll barely be able to keep your hair in a ponytail – aka no chance you’ll be socializing at the same time. Feel the pain, feel the burn, and see the results!
Leave a comment below if you want to see what some of our favourite HIIT workouts are!