High Intensity Interval Training: Benefits
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that focuses on short, intense bursts of activity followed by brief periods of rest or lower intensity. It aims to maximize workout efficiency and benefits in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional, longer-duration workouts. HIIT can be applied to various forms of exercise, including cardiovascular workouts and strength training. Here are some benefits and techniques associated with High Intensity Training.
One of the main advantages of HIIT is its time efficiency. Since workouts are intense and brief, you can achieve significant benefits in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional workouts.
Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
HIIT can improve cardiovascular fitness by challenging your heart and lungs through short bursts of intense activity. This can lead to better heart health, increased oxygen delivery, and improved endurance.
High intensity workouts can lead to a significant calorie burn during and after the workout due to the “afterburn effect” or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate even after the workout is finished.
Muscle Building and Strength
HIIT can be adapted to strength training by using heavier weights and performing fewer repetitions with high intensity. This can stimulate muscle growth and strength gains.
HIIT can lead to improvements in metabolic markers such as insulin sensitivity and glucose regulation, which can be beneficial for managing or preventing conditions like type 2 diabetes.
HIIT can be done with minimal or no equipment, making it convenient for those who prefer home workouts or have limited access to a gym.
This involves alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and lower-intensity recovery periods. For example, in running, you might sprint for 30 seconds and then jog or walk for 1-2 minutes before sprinting again.
A specific form of interval training that involves 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. This cycle is repeated for a total of 4 minutes (8 cycles).
This is a more unstructured form of interval training where you vary your intensity based on how you feel. It involves mixing periods of high intensity with periods of lower intensity or recovery.
Bodyweight Circuit Training
Perform a series of bodyweight exercises (like push-ups, squats, burpees) in quick succession, targeting different muscle groups. Rest briefly between exercises or circuits.
For strength training, focus on lifting heavy weights for a few repetitions with proper form. This can be done using free weights, machines, or resistance bands.
Gradually increase and then decrease the intensity or weight in a workout. For instance, start with light weights and high reps, gradually increase weight while decreasing reps, and then reverse the process.
For cardio workouts, alternate between sprinting at maximum effort and walking or slow jogging for recovery.
Remember that while HIIT offers numerous benefits, it’s also physically demanding and may not be suitable for everyone. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. Additionally, proper warm-up and cool-down routines are crucial to prevent injury when engaging in high intensity workouts.
Part one of our HIIT training, High Intensity Interval Training: How to warm up can be found here. Next week we will cover how to cool down from a High Intensity Interval Training session. Contact Professor Jodey Ingalls if you have any questions or would like to know more.