What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It consists of a 2+ sets of activity that is separated into high intensity and low intensity. The length of time per interval can vary from 30 seconds to a few minutes. The activity is the “high intensity” portion. The “low intensity” portion is your rest or recovery period. The low intensity period should be no more than half the length of the high intensity period. For example, if I am completing a set of mountain climbers with a high intensity of 60 seconds long, my low intensity period is going to be 30 seconds long to recover.

HIIT is a form of exercise that has the convenience to be done anywhere, as well as with or without equipment. You can add weights or use your bodyweight too. It is important to note that when beginning HIIT, you should start slow. HIIT can lead to more injuries when done too often or with poor form. HIIT can have a toll on your body and joints since you are moving at a faster pace, and your body may tire sooner from all the energy you are exerting during short bouts of time.

 

HIIT Health Benefits

HIIT has many health benefits like any form of exercise. The most known reason why HIIT has gained popularity is that it is one of the top forms of exercise that burns fat effectively. Cardio that is completed at a constant speed (meaning you move at the same pace for the allotted time) still has health benefits, but the fat burn effect is not as effective as with HIIT. HIIT allows you to have a better EPOC than constant cardio. EPOC is excess-post exercise oxygen consumption. The benefit of having a higher EPOC after exercise is that you burn calories for a longer period of time. This revs up your metabolism, which then speeds fat loss.

HIIT also can increase your overall aerobic activity. HIIT’s EPOC effect aids in increasing your overall aerobic capacity at a faster rate than constant aerobic activity.

Here are some other health benefits of HIIT:

  • Reduced abdominal fat
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Improved insulin sensitivity

*HIIT should be completed only a few times per week, not every day.

 

HIIT Apps

When I complete a HIIT workout, I use an app called Seconds. I also use this app when I complete tabata workouts too. (Tabata is very similar to HIIT. To see more info click here). I love this app because you can adjust the number of sets you want to complete, as well as how long you want your intervals to be. The app also allows for you to set music to listen to and an alert sound so you know when to alternate between high intensity to low intensity. 

A couple other apps that I have used:

  • HIIT Interval Training Timer 
  • Interval Timer – Timing for HIIT Training and Workouts 

 

Sample HIIT Workout

Below is a sample of a HIIT workout. Please check with your physician/healthcare professional before completing any new exercise.

EXERCISE

TIME

Jumping Jacks

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Mountain climbers

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Plyometric squats (squat jumps)

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Jump rope

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Tricep dips

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

High knees

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Push-ups

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Jumping jacks

30 seconds

 

 

DONE!

References:

1.Article: “High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Best Cardio to Burn Fat”

Date: Updated February 20. 2016

Author: Marc Perry, CEO & Founder

Website: www.builtlean.com

Link: http://www.builtlean.com/2010/06/04/high-intensity-interval-training-hiit-best-cardio-to-burn-fat/

 

2.PDF: “High Intensity Interval Training”

Date: 2014

Author: Len Kravitz, Ph.D.

Website: www.acsm.org

Link: https://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/high-intensity-interval-training.pdf

 

3.Book:  Personal Fitness Trainer Textbook – Personal Fitness Training: Theory & Practice

Date: 2006

Author: Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)

Website: www.afaa.com

Link: http://www.afaa.com/courses/personal-fitness-trainer-textbook