HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is one of the most intense fitness protocols that call upon your entire bodies physical capabilities.
But how do you do HIIT? What is the best way to achieve high intensity training? Why is it so good? What is the evidence behind it?
If you want to know more, then stay on and read the following…
HIIT is a form of high-intensity training that calls upon the bodies muscles and energy to operate in intense bursts of activity. It generally required your body to exert itself to near maximum levels for short periods, followed by a short break and then repeat. This process occurs several times until the body has been taxed.
There are essentially two forms of HIIT: Sprint Interval Training (SIT) and HIT (High-Intensity Training).
SIT is probably the easiest of HIIT training to actually perform as it requires minimal equipment. But it is also the most taxing of intensity training.
You would essentially perform near maximum effort for 15 to 30 seconds and then rest for 30 to 60 seconds and repeat for between 5 to 8 cycles.
Hill sprints are a good example of SIT, You pick a incline hill and run up it as fast as you can for 20 to 30 seconds, then walk back down for 45 to 60 seconds and then run back up. You repeat this until you hit 6 to 10 sessions (depending on your fitness).
HIT can be used in various exercises and is often used in weight training and bodybuilding. You pick a weight that is heavy enough (after warm-ups, obviously) and then perform 4 to 6 reps to near exhaustion then rest for 1 to 3 mins and repeat for 2 or 3 sets. That would complete the exercise for that body part. The aim is to tax the muscle with the maximal effort to be broken down ready for recovery.
HIIT training has become very popular for those people that are time-poor and need a way to keep fit but in short about of time. There are many classes across the world that put students through 20 to 30 minutes HIIT training sessions and are working wonders on peoples fitness levels.
One of the most talked about benefits of HIIT is its ability to induce greater EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). What is EPOC? It is the bodies ability to burn a higher rate of calories (for up to 10 hours) once the exercise activity has stopped. It does this due to the intensity levels and stimulus that the body receives during the training.
The next more talked about benefit of HIIT is its ability in improving your bodies VO2 Max. What is VO2 Max? It is your bodies ability to sustain activity at a given rate.
HIIT training is very taxing on the body. It should not be performed more than 3 times per week, and depending on the intensity and type of training, this can be reduced to twice.
Listen to your body and its recoverability and tailor your training regime accordingly.