This type of training involves repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times. Some HIIT protocols include:
High intensity periods may range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes and are performed at 80% to 95% of maximal heart rate.
The recovery periods may last equally as long as the work periods and are usually performed at 40% to 50% of maximal heart rate.
Duration of these high intensity and rest intervals totals 20 to 60 minutes.
Our Top 10 benefits of HIIT include....
Burns calories and fat in a shorter period of time – If you have a limited amount of time to work out (and let’s face it everyone seems to be time poor) HIIT training is for you! Studies show that 15 minutes of HIIT burns more calories than jogging on a treadmill for an hour. Just 6 x 15-minute sessions of HIIT over a 2-weeks have been shown to increase skeletal muscle oxidative capacity and alter metabolic control during aerobic-based exercise - this means benefits to aerobic fitness with only 45 minutes of exercise per week. And 7 HIIT sessions over the same period of time has been shown to significantly heighten your ability to burn fat during exercise.
Effective energy use –Through interval training your body learns how to efficiently use the energy that comes from your body’s energy system. HIIT increases the body’s potential to use fat as an energy substrate to a greater extent than steady-state aerobic exercise.
Boosts metabolism– helps you consume more oxygen than a non-interval workout routine. The excess amount of oxygen consumed helps increase your rate of metabolism from about 90 minutes to 144 minutes after a session of interval training. Thus, the increased metabolism helps burn more calories at a faster rate as your body converts what you eat and drink into energy for a longer period of time.
Burn calories and fat hours after you leave the gym- You can still be burning an increased number of calories 24 hours after a HIIT workout whereas in steady-pace workouts, you may not.
Lose weight and maintain muscle mass- Due to the factors listed above (increased caloric expenditure and fat loss) HIIT is a superior weight loss method compared to aerobic exercise. This improvement in abdominal fat and body weight is done while still maintaining muscle mass (where lean muscle mass loss is often the issue with aerobic exercise).
Benefit aerobic/endurance fitness, metabolic and cardiovascular health – via greater improvements in; VO2max, blood pressure, cardiac contractility, insulin signalling, and contraction coupling when compared with moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. This has important implications not only for possibly preventing the onset of cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke but also in potentially reversing the risk of diabetes.
Challenging –You are constantly pushing yourself out of your comfort zone therefore whether you are a seasoned athlete or a newbie it’s hard to get bored with HIIT.
Still achievable: It’s often hard for most people to push themselves to an anaerobic zone where you lose your breath and feel your heart rate is nearing its max. But it can be easier to push yourself to that level when you know the rest interval comes straight after this point which is exactly the case for HIIT.
Minimal equipment necessary–All you need is the bare minimum.
Flexibility and variability of exercises – Don’t just think running or cycling you can pick any cardio activity such as skipping, stair climbing, rowing, high knees, swimming, plyometrics or jumping exercises or star jumps.