According to the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) High Intensity Interval Training is one of the top 2 Fitness trends of 2014.
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT as it is commonly known, is an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense exercise, with less intense recovery periods. In this article i shall be explaining the science behind this training protocol, how to do it, how often to do it and when it is best effective.
HIIT is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy which, as stated above alternates periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with a less intense anaerobic recovery.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
HIIT sessions are generally shorter than other training sessions, but your body will be working harder in that period of time. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery.
This after burn effect is referred to as Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts.
There are many benefits from HIIT.
> Increased Metabolism
> No Equipment Necessary (although if you wish you can use some)
In one of my previous articles on “How Vitamins can be used to boost Metabolism” I explained how in todays society, most individuals all label a fast metabolism as being great for weight loss. Which it is High Intensity Interval Training will boost your metabolism for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine.
Another great benefit to HIIT is that you can complete a HIIT workout with little, or no equipment. This meaning that a workout can be done allots anywhere that the individual likes. Training from home is also simplified.
The last benefit that I stated above was the fact that it is shorter than a normal workout. HIIT sessions generally last between 20 and 30 minutes. This is great for individuals who claim that they don’t have the time in the day to go to the gym, exercise, then get home and undergo their daily routine.
So the next question that people often ask me is how to do a HIIT session and also how often to.
On the subject of how often, that is entirely up to the individual and their fitness levels. Many athletes training sessions will all be HIIT based.
That is just the intensity level. There are many ways in which HIIT can be done. And you can lift weights, run, cycle and do most things that you would in a regular workout and just apply a HIIT protocol to it. Quite often this is something like a 30s work rate, and a recovery time of 1 minute.
Baring this in mind anything can be applied to a HIIT protocol, whether it be track sprints, bodyweight squats, bench presses or any exercise the individual desires.
So if an individual is training 3-4 times a week, you can apply a HIIT principle to each workout. If your fitness levels are quite high, you can make the session more intense by either increasing the work rate time, or reducing the recovery period.
Either will work and both will have a positive effect on the body.
If HIIT is incorporated into an individuals training program, it can be of benefit to everyone. But remember. before undergoing any physical activity you should always consult a medical professional and get the all clear before you begin anything.