What is HIIT?
The most common excuse why people do not exercise is lack of time. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a method for which that excuse can not be used. With only a few minutes per session, you can improve your fitness and also lose some pounds of fat.
HIIT consists of a period of high effort, followed by a period of low workload, all this is repeated a number of times. For example: 20 seconds sprinting and then jogging for 15 seconds. The periods of high intensity will immediately burn many calories effectively. Also the high intensive periods will cause the so called “afterburn” effect. This means that the muscles will still burn extra calories even 48 hours after the training. This is what causes much body fat to be lost with short workouts. Even in the periods of low intensity you will be burning some calories. More importantly, these periods give the muscles a much needed rest for this hard and intense workout.
- increases metabolism
- little time is required
- better condition
- No gym required
HIIT Training Methods
The Internet is filled with many different HIIT training methods. Below are a few familiar ones explained. It is recommended that you also try the other methods you can find on the Internet or at your gym so you will find a workout that best suits your needs and abilities.
This is a very short version of HIIT based on research by Professor Izumi Tabata. Despite the short duration of the training it can still allow you to improve your fitness and a reasonable number of calories burned. This method is not for everyone, because it requires a very good condition.
- Duration training session: 4 minutes
- Frequency: 2-4 training sessions per week
- Ratio: 20 seconds high effort / low exercise or rest 10 seconds, 8 reps
- Execution: Start with a warm up of 3 minutes, then a sprint (almost at maximum speed) of 20 seconds and 10 seconds quiet walk / jogging,
The method was developed by Dr. Little. Jonathan Little and Dr. Marint Gibala. This training does take more time than the Tabata method, but is suitable for people of average fitness.
- Duration training session: 27 minutes
- Frequency: 3 training sessions per week
- Ratio: 60 seconds high effort / low effort 75 seconds, 12 reps
- Execution: Start with a warm up of 3 minutes, then at a reasonable pace run for 60 seconds and then 75 seconds walk quietly.
For absolute beginners, it is wise to start slowly and build your way up and let the body get used to sports and fitness before starting HIIT. This can be through normal interval training. The diagram below can be used.
HIIT Schedule for Beginners
- Duration training session: 9-20 minutes
- Frequency: 2/3 training sessions per week
- Ratio: 30 seconds means high effort / 60-90 seconds (more if needed) low effort or rest, 6-10 reps
- Execution: Start with a warm up for 3-5 minutes, then go running for 30 seconds, followed by a quiet walk / jog for 60-90 seconds. It is important that you are not more intense than training your body can handle. Start running at about 50-60% of the maximum intensity of what you can handle. As time passes and your fitness improves, you can increase the intensity quiet and / or increase the running time and / or decrease the rest time.
You can ofcourse choose to do some other form of cardio instead of running as such as cycling.
When health problems consult please a doctor or a fitness specialist.