What is HIIT training?

You’ve probably heard of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but many people are unsure what it involves. HIIT is an exercise training technique where you work at 100% for a quick, intense burst and then have a short recovery period. An example is running on the spot as fast as you can for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest. Training in this way raises your heart rate and helps burn fat in a short period.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

hiit-high-intensity-interval-trainingHIIT has become increasingly popular over the last few years because it boosts your metabolism, which is linked to fat burning, without the need for any equipment. It can also be done in a short period at a location convenient for you.

Metabolism boost: Exercising at high intensity creates an oxygen shortage, causing your body to require more oxygen during recovery. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and is why HIIT training helps you burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic training. Depending on the intensity of your workout you may still be burning calories the following day.

No equipment needed: High-intensity interval training workouts don’t require you to have any equipment. So long as you are performing exercises that increase your heart rate then you are doing well. In fact, you are recommended not to use much resistance when performing HIIT to reduce the risk of injuries.

Time efficient: High-intensity interval training is hard and intense so you don’t need to, and probably won’t want to, spend a long time on it. Just 10 or 20 minutes of HIIT training will fire up your metabolism and keep you feeling great all day.

Example workout:

If you are looking to incorporate HIIT training into your workout routine, here is an example of a workout that you can perform. Do each exercise for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Try completing three to five rounds. If you want to make it harder increase the duration of the exercise and reduce the rest period.

Exercise 1: 30 seconds high knees
Exercise 2: Squats/squat jumps
Exercise 3: Mountain climbers
Exercise 4: Star jumps
Exercise 5: Crunch

Make sure you mix up HIIT with other forms of training to maximise the benefits and to prevent injuries.