HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training

Posted by Christophe on September 14, 2011 in MyPersonalTrainer |


One of the greatest and easiest ways to:
A) lose weight quickly
B) increase your cardiovascular endurance in a relatively short time.
In principle you are trying to create a 2:1 ratio of high intensity to low intensity training. Let me explain this further.

When you are training in the High End Interval you are virtually pushing your self to your limit, for that period of time – don’t worry it’s brief. During the Low End Interval you are actively resting. Think of it as a break from the heavy work but still moving. This is the base of a proper HIIT routine.

Example of a HIIT Workout
1. Warm up with a casual jog. Get your heart rate up and your body nice and limber, (roughly 5 to 10 minutes).
2. High Interval – Sprint at full speed for 30 seconds.
3. Low Interval – Actively Rest for 60 seconds. Think of a moderately fast walk or slow jog.
4. Repeat between High and Low Intervals for the allocatted amount of sets.

There you have it. You are using the 2:1 ratio of rest to work. You are letting your body recover just enough so that you can burst in the next interval session. The above is considered 1 set and normally this would be performed for 8 – 15 sets. If you calculate the total time you will be finished in roughly 12 to 22.5 minutes. If you are now starting out, I would recommend using the lower time and working your way up to the 30 minute range. Try and incorporate HIIT training into your workouts 1 to 2 times a week. Use it as a change up from basic cardio.

TABATA Training
Tabata consists of a 20 second maximum intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is considered to be one cycle and should be repeated for 8 cycles for a total of 4 minutes. Here you could also incorporate active rest, as you did with HIIT, or you could just rest.

The importance for HIIT?
HIIT training forces your body to adapt to various changes in training intensity. Therefore, you will be adjusting your heart rate and forcing it to accomodate to increasing effort and eventual exhaustion. Our bodies are not used to pushing out full effort at any given time. When we do it continuously and under control we train our body to adapt faster and more efficiently. Therefore, we increase our cardiovascular health, our endurance and our speed. Oh, and let’s not forget we get shredded as well! HIIT is great for increasing our metabolism quickly and prolonging the increased metabolism way past our actual exercise time. Higher metabolism means increased calorie burn.

Summary of HIIT
2:1 Ratio of Rest to Work
High Interval – 30 seconds
Lower Interval – 60 seconds
Finished in roughly 12 to 22.5 minutes
Beginner 1 to 2 times a week

So, there you have it. The basics behind HIIT training and how to implement it into your training. Enjoy and ease yourself into it. If you push too hard you may injure yourself, which will waste your previous efforts

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