Want To Get Fit? Try HIIT
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If you’re looking to burn a maximum amount of calories in a minimum amount of time, a HIIT workout may be just what you need.
“Sometimes people are intimidated by HIIT because it sounds hard core, but any person of any fitness level and any age group can do it,” says Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Angela Horner.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a 30-45 minute or less workout comprised of alternating bursts of high-intensity exercise moves with low-intensity rest or recovery periods.
“The popularity is largely because HIIT produces good results in an efficient way,” says Horner. “Compared to some other exercises, you can do high-intensity interval training for less time and you’ll get equal, if not better, results.”
In addition to its efficiency, HIIT combines various modalities of exercise, so you’ll work more muscle groups.
“HIIT offers a large variety of intensity and work, a variety of lifts and traditional cardiovascular modes,” explains Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Chris Parker. “HIIT burns many calories in a short period of time while optimizing your body’s ability to maintain muscle mass, burn fat and improve cardiovascular conditioning.”
Research shows HIIT training is better for burning fat, has a longer after-burn effect and can also raise your VO2 max (how quickly you consume oxygen).
Compared to a steady-state cardio workout, like jogging or power walking, where you might build endurance over a long period of time, HIIT provides heart rate variance which boosts cardiovascular fitness more effectively and efficiently. Because HIIT combines so many modes of exercise, it can also decrease your risk of injury due to repetition or overuse.
A HIIT workout is not limited to any one type of exercise. If you’re a runner, you might incorporate running into your HIIT workout, along with jump rope, plyometrics (jumping jacks, box jumps, dynamics pushups, burpees) and strength training.
“HIIT is all different modes of cardio at different intensities,” says Horner. “For example, you can do a HIIT workout that’s alternating between strength and cardio, you can do plyometrics or you can do it all.”
Getting started with HIIT is easy. Choose your exercises and select your interval time.
- 60 to 90 second intervals
- 15-second rest
- 20 to 30 second intervals
- 10 second rest
Work for five minutes, then rest for a minute or two and begin again. For cross training at its best, Horner recommends incorporating HIIT into your exercise routine two to three times per week.
If you’re new to HIIT, it’s important that you don’t start off too hard or too quickly. Begin with a qualified fitness trainer who can help you set your intensity level and modify exercises to suit your goals and physical abilities.
“HIIT can be modified to fit any fitness level by altering the work-to-rest ratios, mode and intensity of exercise and frequency of workouts,” says Parker. “The purpose of HIIT is to increase and decrease your heart rate, which looks different for every person. The focus is on how hard you’re working.”
For more information about HIIT workouts or to book a personal training session, click here.
Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.