High Intensity Interval training or commonly known as HIIT is a great way to work out.  I will use this post to explain what it is and why I include it in my sessions and with clients.

So what is HIIT?

  • Simply, short bursts of high intensity work followed by short periods of rest.  Regardless of what activities you are doing, as long as you are working as hard as possible in your intervals you are doing the right thing.  Just be mindful of your technique folks.  
  • Workouts can include more than one exercise- similar to a circuit.  This keeps things more interesting for you or the client. For example, mixing push ups, squats and burpees would do just fine.
  • HIIT can be done ideally for time- eg: each activity is done at maximum effort (not sacrificing technique) for 20 seconds with 10 seconds recovery between.  Keep working for a total of 4 minutes then move on to the next set of exercises.  
  • Or repetitions and distance- eg: sprint 50m rest for 10 seconds 10 times.  

The intervals are variable and the workouts can be organised in a format that suits with different exercises and numbers thereof.  Just making sure that intervals must be short enough to allow the person to work at almost maximal effort.

So why is HIIT so effective?

  • Working at maximal effort raises your heart rate to near 90-95% of your max which causes your body to burn LOTS of calories!
  • Lifting heavy things (especially bodyweight) or throwing them about for short bursts increases strength, power, speed and endurance.  This encourages the growth of lean muscle!
  • Your metabolic rate will climb during your HIIT workout and thanks to excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC) it will keep its high rate for hours after the workout.  This will enable faster weight loss!  EPOC is where your body has to use oxygen to beak down fat stores in the body to replenish the energy your used while training. Also the growth of new tissue and removal of lactic acid occurs during this time allowing the body to adapt to the stresses you just put it through.
  • You will gain fitness in strength, speed, power, endurance and flexibility provided the HIIT workouts are designed effectively and specifically to the needs of the client.
  • The workouts are FUN.  You can be creative and adventurous with HIIT using new bits of kit or no kit at all.  The only limit is your imagination.
  • The HIIT workouts I use are designed to be shorter- only half an hour really. This allows me to squeeze a session in when time is short or to mix up a session with clients alongside their running or cycling work.

The HIIT session I did at the end of my leg workout today was as follows:

  • Skipping high knees
  • Battle rope waves
  • Battle rope hip toss
  • battle rope slam

Each exercise for 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest for 5 rounds.

HIIT is fun and versatile, but more importantly it is very effective for weight loss, lean muscle gain, strength, power, speed and endurance.  No matter what your fitness level it is a sure fire way to boost your metabolism and build yourself into a training animal.

If you want to find out more please get in touch, I'd be happy to help.