High Intensity Interval Training is a maximum effort form of exercise where you begin by performing an exercise with 100% energy and intensity. After completing the exercise you typically have a short rest period before performing another exercise at 100%. The high intensity portion of the intervals should be performed at maximum effort. HIIT can be performed in a variety of ways.
Multiple Types of HIIT Workouts
So far, I have posted many burpee interval workout routines, which alternate burpees, running and resting. However, there are many different ways that you can perform a HIIT workout. This can include sprinting, pushups, crunches, jumping, jump rope, treadmill intervals, elliptical intervals, row machine, exercise bike, etc. With HIIT workouts, you don’t always have to be outside. The gym can provide you with great tools for these types of workouts, which can allow you to keep your body in rhythm year round.
Burn Fat at a Rapid Pace
High intensity workout’s increase the body’s need for oxygen. This helps stimulate an after burn and is the primary reason why high intensity exercises help burn more fat and calories. This type of after burn is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). Over the course of time, your body will be able to develop better endurance, which will increase your stamina, allowing you to sustain your workouts or exercises for a longer period of time.
You will also burn fat after you are done with your workout because of the high level of intensity and the stimulation of an after burn, which speeds up your metabolic rate. This is one of the major advantages of HIIT compared to slower workouts.
Most people in this day and age simply don’t have the time to exercise for 90 minutes or more on a regular basis at a slower, steady pace. These quick and intense workouts are a perfect solution if time is an issue. Not only can you focus on a variety of muscle groups, (depending on the exercises you are performing) but you can also improve your endurance and burn fat at an extremely high rate.
Recover and Grow Stronger
Because you are pushing your body into over drive, it is imperative that you remember to recover appropriately following your workout. HIIT workouts typically take longer to recover from because of the intensity and the amount of energy that you are using in a short period of time. It is best to perform these types of workouts no more than 3 times per week to allow your body a good amount of time to recover and get stronger.
Other types of workouts such as weight training are okay to perform in between your HIIT days, but be sure to take at least 1-2 days off per week to allow your body to fully recover.
Body Weight Exercises
Another major advantage to HIIT is just like the burpee intervals that I have posted about over the summer, you generally don’t need any equipment to perform these workouts. The main goal is to get your heart rate up and then keep it there throughout your workout. You don’t need weights or extra equipment, but you can use them if desired.
I often like to increase the challenge of my workouts by using a Medicine Ball or a weight vest. Take a look at these posts from a few weeks ago for more information on adding extra weight to your workouts.