In recent years, there has been a spike in the HIIT trend – and for good reason! Even if you haven't utilized the method yet, you've probably caught the term before. It means short, high-intensity interval training blocks interspersed during a period of around 15-30 mins.
What makes HIIT different from regular interval training? Shorter work bursts of only about 30-60 seconds, and much longer rest times. This strategy actually forces the body to release cortisol in a fight-or-flight method. When done correctly, it both improves and enhances an entire workout.
Do YOU Need HIIT?
Most people can benefit from HIIT. Those who are overweight or dealing with obesity will benefit greatly, and usually see the fastest results. After properly analyzing body type, it's easier to utilize this method to achieve weight loss goals.
High blood pressure and heart rate can be helped with HIIT as well. Athletes can use HIIT workouts for enhancing aerobic and anaerobic performance. Since this type of exercise puts stress on the body, ensure ample recovery time to avoid any pitfalls.
Benefits of HIIT
• Faster and shorter workouts with lasting results:
- A typical HIIT-centered workout will be between 15 and 30 minutes, making them easy to slip in on a busy day.
• Same results as longer, more sustained workouts:
- Compared to the same types of exercises, results come with HIIT usually twice as fast.
• Ample rest & recovery time for more relaxing routines:
- For every day at the gym of HIIT exercise, there should be one or two days of lighter workouts and rest.
• Extremely helpful for weight loss:
- Calories continue to burn for hours after HIIT workouts! This process helps the body switch into fat burn.
• Aids in reducing blood pressure and heart rate:
- In comparison to sustained workouts, exercises with HIIT show a significant decrease in blood pressure. They have also shown to help regulate heart rate in those with cardiovascular issues.
Examples of HIIT Workouts
According to Self magazine, almost any regular workout can become a HIIT workout, as long as it can be done in quick intervals. Some examples include rounds of squats with a kettlebell, or fast-paced jumping jacks with hand weights. The main idea is to work faster and harder than usual in a short amount of time. Set a timer for 30-90 seconds and work quickly, and don't forget to set intervals of rest in between every exercise. Also, make sure you're warming up and cooling down before and after your workout.
Is HIIT Right for You?
Because HIIT is a strenuous workout, it is best approached with caution. WebMD mentions how HIIT should be avoided after the first trimester of pregnancy, and if you've experienced chest pain and/or heart issues, you should discuss a safe workout plan with your doctor. Everyone should start slowly and build up tolerance- know your limits and exercise safely.
Make sure to go with what you know first, as it's important to nail your form when doing HIIT. Stick to only testing yourself in workouts that are very familiar.
Otherwise, you may find yourself pushing beyond your limits, which could result in injury! Always listen to your body, and consult a physician if you have any special health conditions before starting a HIIT journey.