What is HIIT? You may have heard this term around the gym or amongst trainers. You may have even tried out HIIT training in your workouts. Here is a simple run through of what HIIT is designed for and how to incorporate it into your workout routine for a boost in calorie burn and endurance.
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It is an exercise strategy involving a short burst of moderate to high intensity cardio followed by an equal or longer period of recovery. The burst intervals typically last anywhere from 30-90 seconds followed by a 90-120 second recovery. A HIIT workout is shorter in time, allowing you to maximize your workout and your time.
The higher calorie burn all lies in the bursts of intense cardio. When your body exerts energy at a higher level, a number of things happen. First, your heart rate rises, which requires more energy and more calorie demands from your body. This equates to a higher overall burn during the workout. In addition, elevating your heart rate increases your cardiovascular endurance as your heart, lungs and blood vessels become more efficient at pumping oxygen throughout your body. With HIIT workouts, your larger muscle groups are working significantly harder than during a slower, more steady pace workout. This allows the muscles to increase their endurance and strength over time.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind with HIIT workouts:
- Do not do a HIIT workout daily. Allow your body and muscles to rest.
- Allow your heart rate to adequately recover in between high intensity intervals.
- Pick an activity that you can do well. Do not do a HIIT workout on a cardio machine that you have not used before.
A simple beginner HIIT workout from the Interval Training site:
Warm up at a comfortable speed for 2-4 minutes.
Sprint for 30 seconds.
Recover for 90 seconds.
Repeat 6-8 times.
Visit Interval Training for more HIIT workout suggestions.
Looking for a running group to try HIIT workouts with? Start a Meet Up Group! A fantastic way to connect with other local runners.
Spinning is a terrific workout and ideal for HIIT-style workouts. Try Spinergy at Equinox for a heart pumping workout. Head on over to Healthworks for a 3 day FREE trial pass. Healthworks Hour Ride, Kick IT or Punk Rope class are terrific options for a higher intensity workout.