What Is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

In General Health by Ian Izaguirre0 Comments

HIIT is an acronym for High-intensity interval-training, and is nothing but high-energy exercises performed in short bursts, repeated over 8-10 cycles. This set of exercises is followed by medium or low intensity work out. Talking in terms of time, a HIIT session must not be done for over 20 minutes or less than 15 minutes.

What’s All the Excitement About?

The term HIIT has been creating a lot of buzz in fitness circles lately. Why is everybody all of a sudden dumping regular cardio and taking to HIIT? The answer is simple, because HIIT is much more beneficial to your health than running on the treadmill and other regular cardiovascular exercises. Several independent scientific studies back up this claim. Here are a few benefits of HIIT over steady cardio exercises:

HIIT burns more calories

It has been revealed by scientific research that HIIT increases the body’s metabolism rate, specifically the metabolic rate when the body is resting or the BMR. Post a 20 minute HIIT the metabolic rate of the body shows considerable increase for at least a period of 24 hours, thus helping you burn extra calories.

HIIT boosts endurance

An important indicator of training performance is VO2max, which is the upper limit of your body for inhaling, distributing and utilizing oxygen for production of energy. HIIT helps improve cardiovascular function, which in turn leads to an increase in VO2max. Continued high-energy training over a considerable period builds up stamina and endurance, and delivers better results on this count than interminable aerobic exercises.

HIIT leads to fat loss

The jury is still out on this, but many researchers have claimed that HIIT helps people reduce their body fat and become leaner. If true this could challenge many long-held training concepts and ideas. High intensity exercise and training was earlier thought to be ineffective in helping people lose fat, with low intensity exercises such as jogging advocated as the best way to reduce fat. This bias was born out of the biological fact that the amount of body carbohydrate increases when a person performs energy-demanding exercises. However with recent studies pointing towards the benefits of HIIT in fat reduction, things are likely to change.

How to Begin

If you are a stranger to HIIT, don’t be thrown off by its emphasis on high-energy or repetitive cycles. Don’t be fooled by the fancy acronym either. It’s really very simple, and more important, extremely good for your health.

Hitt Stationary Bike

Try the following on a stationary bike to get started

1.) Warm up nicely for 3-4 minutes with 8-10 on the scale for recovery time

2.) For intense training ramp up to 14-16 on the scale

3.) Repeat high and low-medium bursts about 8 times. High-energy can 40-60 seconds long and low-medium energy 60-80 seconds.

Another way to start is on a track (you generally do 6-10 rounds per session)

1.) Start with a 5 minute warm up at a jogging pace

2.) Sprint between 20 to 30 seconds as hard as you can

3.) Then take a 2 to 4 minute rest and repeat ( your goal should be around a 25-30 minute session)

4.) Since you are just starting the time of your first session should be lower, until you get used to it.

5.) Your goal should be working up to sprinting as hard as you can for 20-60 seconds with only a 2 to 3 minute rest, and repeating this for a 25-30 minute session.

6.) End with a 5 minute cool down

Show Article Sources
“What Is High Intensity Interval Training”
Stationary bike: Willpower87 via Compfight cc.
Sprinter: via leanitup.com

“What Is High Intensity Interval Training”
“http://www.active.com/cycling/Articles/High-Intensity-Interval-Training-for-Beginners”
“http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/hiit-vs-continuous-endurance-training-battle-of-the-aerobic-titans”
“http://www.natpersonaltraining.com/articles/the-advantages-of-hiit-training-versus-steady-state-cardio/”

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