What is HIIT you might ask?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I personally LOVE HIIT!  It is a great way to “spice” things up and bring a new level to your workout regimen.  HIIT sessions are usually 30 minutes or less and involve short, burst or periods of high intense anaerobic exercise (intense exercise that causes lactic acid to form, think hardcore exercise) and less intense recovery periods.

How do you perform a HIIT session?

A HIIT session involves a warm up period, followed by (normally) 3-10 repetitions of high intensity exercise followed by a low to medium intense (recovery phase) exercise, and then ending with a cool down period.  There is no real designated ratio of high intense to low/medium intense exercise periods, it all really depends on your cardiovascular capacity.  However, a “common” go to ratio is 2:1.  Meaning 30-40 seconds of high intense exercise with a 15-20 second low/medium intense exercise.

Benefits of HIIT?

HIIT is an awesome way to get in a good, quality workout when you are short on time.  These short, intense periods of exercise actually help heighten or improve your athletic capacity and overall conditioning.  Not to mention, it helps improve your fat burning capabilities by increasing your resting metabolic rate even after it’s finished.  It has also been shown to lower your insulin resistance on a chemical level.

How often should HIIT be done?

Usually the next question after one learns about HIIT is, “How often should I do HIIT on a weekly basis?”  With HIIT, it really depends on what your goals are.  I, personally choose 2 times a week, as I want to make sure I incorporate my “normal” 30-45 minute endurance sessions in there, as well as strength and flexibility training.  However that is MY choice for myself.  I am a runner, I still need my longer, endurance sessions as I call them.  Your goal may not be for that half marathon I am training for.  But like they say everything in moderation.  Listen to your body and if something hurts or is painful and doesn’t subside, STOP!   You don’t want any injuries.

How can I do a HIIT session?

The wonderful thing about HIIT, is you can do it with just about any form of exercise!  Running, jumping rope, cycling, rowing.  Really anything that takes your heart rate up quickly followed by a recovery period long enough to let your heart rate come back down.

Example of HIIT

5 minute warm up walking or a slow jog on the treadmill, followed by 5 repetitions of sprinting for 30 seconds and a slow jog or walk for 15 seconds and ending with a 5 minute walk for a cool down.

So the question now is, are you ready for HIIT?  What is your favorite HIIT workout if you incorporate them into your routine?

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