You’ve heard the word HIIT tossed around. You’ve seen it splayed across magazine covers. And now you’re just downright curious; what is HIIT, anyway?
HIIT stands for High Interval Intensity Training, and it is an approach to exercise that has taken the fitness world by storm.
HIIT is an intervallic training approach where you combine short bursts of all-out effort followed by brief recovery periods. (Think 30-60 seconds on, 30-60 seconds off).
Why this format, you ask? Great question!
As head fitness instructor Eric Salvador explains, “A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, [which causes] the body to ask for more oxygen during recovery.” In turn, this creates an afterburn that helps your body blast more fat and calories than regular aerobic workouts.
Umm, yes, please!
In short, HIIT is an incredibly efficient way to break a sweat, burn calories, and boost your overall fitness. What’s more, it is a great workout option for those whose workout time is limited.
Still not sure if HIIT is right for you? Then keep reading; I think you’ll be convinced once you discover its many benefits.
What are the Benefits of HIIT?
HIIT is Efficient
As I mentioned above, HIIT is incredibly efficient. Because you are pushing yourself as hard as possible during those short bursts, you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
Due to the way your body uses oxygen in a HIIT workout, you have a longer afterburn. What does this mean? Simply put, you burn more calories after you’re done exercising than if you did a traditional aerobic workout like jogging.
Strengthen Cardiovascular System
HIIT increases the pressure demand on your blood vessels, which ultimately improves the elasticity of your arteries and veins.
Traditional cardio workouts tend to work the aerobic metabolic system with our heart rate at about 65% of its peak (more on that below). With HIIT, you work both your aerobic and anaerobic metabolic systems. When you work both, you optimize your cardiovascular stamina.
No Special Equipment Needed
You don’t need special equipment, a fancy studio, or complex dance moves to get an awesome workout. Simple plyometric moves like jumping jacks, sprints, jump squats, and mountain climbers (explained below) are all you need to experience the benefits.
How do I do a HIIT Workout?
So we’ve answered the question “What is HIIT” and we’ve also explored HIIT’s benefits. If you’re still reading, I’m willing to bet you’re ready to give it a try.
Am I right?
Here’s the good news; getting started with a HIIT routine is super simple. Just follow these 3 steps and you’ll be on your way to an amazing HIIT workout in no time.
1. Choose Your Moves
Focus on simple moves that you can do with all-out effort.
By choosing simple moves, it’s easier to push yourself into that anaerobic state.
Some great options include:
- Mountain Climbers
- Jump Squats
- Butt Kicks
- Jumping Jacks
- Jumping Lunges
- Side Lunges
- Plank Jacks
- Star Jumps
- High Knees
2. Push Yourself
Strive to push yourself to around 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being getting a massage and 10 being running away from a hungry lion, you’re at a 9. Go as hard as you can for the entire 30-60 seconds.
3. Pick Your Ratio
When you’re just getting started, begin with a 1:2 ratio of work to rest.
In other words, push yourself hard for 30 or 60 seconds. Then, march in place for 60 to 120 seconds.
As your endurance improves, challenge yourself to shift to a 1:1 ratio of work to rest.
Repeat this interval with different moves for 20-45 minutes, and you’ll be reaping the health benefits in no time.
There you have it, friends! Are you ready to get started? Great! Snag this free PDF, which will help you design your own HIIT workout and start seeing results today!
Are you ready to take your fitness and nutrition goals to the next level? I’d love to help you! Click here to check out what coaching with me is all about. Then, we can set up a free mini session to discuss your wellness goals and start moving forward today!