What is High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a type of exercise characterized by short bursts of high-intensity activity followed by shorter periods of recovery or rest. This type of training can be adapted to almost any sport or fitness activity, making it a popular choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.
There are many benefits associated with HIIT, including improved cardiovascular fitness, increased fat burning, and a reduction in exercise-related muscle soreness. Additionally, HIIT can be performed with minimal equipment and in a shorter time frame than traditional endurance training, making it a convenient option for busy people.
If you're looking to add a new challenge to your workout routine, or just want to learn more about HIIT, read on for everything you need to know how to burn calories with intensive workouts.
How does HIIT work?
HIIT workouts typically involve a warm-up period followed by several cycles of high-intensity activity separated by shorter periods of recovery. The length of each interval can vary depending on the person's fitness level, but generally speaking, the work periods should last between 30 seconds and 3 minutes, with recovery lasting anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
The intensity of the high-intensity intervals is what sets HIIT apart from other forms of exercise. Work periods should be performed at near-maximum effort, leaving you breathless and unable to sustain the activity for more than a few minutes.
HIIT workouts can be performed using any type of equipment, or even with no equipment at all. Commonly used exercises include sprinting, cycling, jump squats and push-ups.
Benefits of HIIT
There are many benefits associated with HIIT, both for athletes and non-athletes.
Improved cardiovascular fitness: HIIT training can lead to significant improvements in cardiovascular fitness, as measured by VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen that your body can utilize during exercise).
Increased fat burning: HIIT workouts are very effective at increasing the amount of fat your body burns. In fact, one study showed that HIIT burns up to 9 times more fat than traditional, moderate-intensity cardio.
Reduced exercise-related muscle soreness: HIIT can also help to reduce the amount of exercise-related muscle soreness (DOMS) that you experience. This is likely due to the fact that HIIT workouts improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.
Convenient: One of the biggest benefits of HIIT is its convenience. HIIT workouts can be performed in a shorter time frame than traditional endurance training, and can be done using minimal equipment.
How to get started with HIIT
If you're interested in adding HIIT to your workout routine, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, it's important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of your HIIT workouts. This will help your body to adapt to the new training stimulus and reduce the risk of injury.
Second, be sure to warm up thoroughly before beginning your HIIT workout. A good warm-up will not only prepare your body for the workout ahead, but it will also help to reduce the risk of injury.
Finally, be sure to cool down and stretch after your HIIT workout. This will help your body to recover and prepare for your next workout.
HIIT is a great way to add a new challenge to your workout routine. By incorporating HIIT into your training, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness, burn more fat and reduce exercise-related muscle soreness. Just be sure to start slowly and increase the intensity of your workouts gradually to reduce your risk of injury.
Who can benefit from HIIT?
HIIT is a great workout for people of all fitness levels. However, it's important to remember that HIIT workouts should be performed at near-maximum intensity, so if you're just starting out, it's best, to begin with, shorter intervals and work your way up.
Additionally, HIIT workouts can be tailored to your individual fitness level. If you're new to HIIT, you can start with 30-second work periods and 1-minute recovery periods. As you become more fit, you can gradually increase the length of the work periods.
Finally, if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant, it's important to speak with your doctor before starting a HIIT workout routine.
The Bottom Line
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of exercise that alternates between short bursts of intense activity and brief periods of rest. HIIT workouts can be performed using any type of equipment, or even with no equipment at all.
HIIT workouts are very effective at increasing the amount of fat your body burns. In fact, one study showed that HIIT burns up to 9 times more fat than traditional, moderate-intensity cardio.