An Introduction to High Intensity Interval Training

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The idea behind High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is to perform an exercise intensely for a short period, followed by slower recovery periods, in order to trigger lactate formation. The intense periods should be performed to near maximum effort and recovery periods at 50% or less.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power, and is also used by bodybuilders to build more muscle mass.

So why do I recommend High Intensity Interval Training?

Because it will get you fitter, stronger and leaner in less time! Many studies have now shown a direct link between high intensity interval training and fat loss. If performed correctly, you can burn a serious amount of calories in less than 30mins per day.

What makes HIIT training so effective for fat loss is that it produces excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC). What this means is that the fat burning process doesn’t stop when your workout is over - it keeps going and going and going!

 

Image Credit: http://www.menshealth.com/
Photo Credit: Mens Health

 

Now before you dive straight in to a HIIT session, you will need to consider a few things first.

1. Your current fitness level and capabilities

HIIT is an advanced form of training and I do not recommend it to a beginner or anyone who has been out of action for a while. We have seen many people come through our gym and walk straight back out only to be sick from a short HIIT session. It’s not pretty, so please make sure you develop a good baseline of fitness before you give HIIT a go.

 

Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/
Photo Credit: Huffington Post

 

2. Less is more

Another common mistake is presuming more is better. Because HIIT sessions are short, this doesn’t mean you need to return the next day and do it all again in the fear that you have not trained long enough. In fact, if you perform a HIIT session correctly, the last thing you will want to do is come back for more.

 

Image Credit: http://www.mensfitness.com/
Photo Credit: Men's Fitness

 

3. What’s a good HIIT workout?

There are so many variations; it would take forever to list them. Things to consider are time, location and equipment. Depending on where you are, what time you workout at the gym and how well equipped your gym is, one may need to be a bit more creative. For example, my studio doesn’t have any electronically run cardio equipment, but what it does have is a prowler, battling ropes, a ton of weights and me, bodyweight.

 

Image Credit: http://peakperformancebaltimore.com/
Photo Credit: Peak Performance Baltimore

 

The Idle Man Fitness e-Book

Edited by George Cheley

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