HIIT Workout: What is it and Why It’s Effective
PT Manager and HIIT expert Matt Williams explains what is HIIT and why its so effective.
What is HIIT Training?
HIIT workout, or high-intensity interval training, is a strength training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time than other methods of training. This means that sessions can be as short as 30 minutes long which makes it perfect for modern day time conscious living.
Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training and Why is it Effective?
- The main benefit of this workout is an increase in your metabolism. Combining high intensity with interval training results in EPOC, which speeds your metabolic rate and translates into a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine. This means you’ll still be burning fat even after you’ve left the gym.
- Another benefit is that it’s quick and convenient. Long gone are the days of not having enough time for exercise. HIIT workouts can be done anywhere: at home, in a hotel room, in a park, at a gym, etc. And most are 30 minutes or less! Who can’t spare that?
High intensity training requires you to work at 100% max effort in short bursts followed by short recovery periods. To make the workout most effective you are going to work the entire body and utilise all your muscle groups. It is also important to use weight and resistance. You need to compliment the fat burning effects of the workout with a resistance element to ensure you are burning fat but not eating away at your muscles. This is what is going to leave you with the desired toned physique.
Here are our five tips to ensure you are getting the most from your workout.
- Mix it up a bit to beat monotony. You can follow the suggested 30-minute workout below. However, don’t let that stop you from being creative. If you’re coming up with your own HIIT workout, utilise everything at your disposal to beat boredom and improve your results.
- Cap your interval length at 1 minute. If you find yourself going longer than 1 minutes chances are you aren’t putting enough effort into your “work” phase. You should aim to be completely gassed by maximum 60 seconds and desperate for the recovery time to get here faster!
- Go hard for at least 10 seconds. Just like there’s a maximum cap at two minutes, your max-effort time should never be less than 10 seconds. It’s important to remember that if you’re going less time, it will be important to get in more sets (for example – I would do five 60-second bouts of activity/rest intervals OR ten 20-30 second bouts of activity/rest).
- Don’t forget to hit the weights. You’ve got to be strong to regularly complete HIT workout! Be sure to include an element of strength training into your sessions to strengthen key muscle groups to get you through your workouts successfully.
- Remember, remember – recover, recover!! Don’t sell your recovery times short! These recovery times give your muscles a chance to rest and recover from the work they just did and gear them up in preparation for the work they’re about to perform. Your recovery times should be an easy pace – not too much that you’re still working hard but not too little that you’re actually cooling down. Keep in mind that your workout could even start at a 1:1 work:recovery ratio and end at a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio. Be smart and listen to your body!
Best HIIT Exercises You Must Try
Give these 10 exercises a try to get you started. Do each exercise for 30 seconds before moving on to the next workout routine. In between each exercise take a 15 second rest. At the end of all of the exercises is one complete circuit. Complete the circuit three times to torch fat all day long:
- Kettle bell Swing
- Press up to T
- Mountain Climber
- Kettle bell Clean and Press
- Bicycle Crunch
- Kettle bell Sumo Deadlift
- Ply Box Jucmps
- Russian Twist
- Press Up