The Benefits of High-Intensity-Interval-Training (HIIT)
A common theme that I have come across in over 10-years of being a personal trainer is the misconception that you need to put in hours of exercise everyday to see results. The reality is though, unless you are a professional athlete, we are too time poor to dedicate the hours. This is where the value of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) comes into play. The benefits of undertaking 3-to-five HIIT sessions per week can far outweigh the long hours of low to moderate intensity exercise.
So, what is HIIT? In short, as the name suggests, HIIT involves short bouts of intense exercise followed by a recovery period. The heart rate should reach approximately 80% of the maximum during the intense exercise phase and then drop to approximately 50% of the maximum during the recovery period. Depending on a person’s fitness levels, the intervals can range from 10 seconds to 5 minutes and repeated 4-to-10 times. It is for this reason that only a short period of time needs to be dedicated and a well structured HIIT session can be done within 10 minutes. However, ideally, a HIIT session should go for 30 minutes.
When compared with moderate intensity continuous exercise (such as a light jog on the treadmill for 30 minutes), the benefits of HIIT are many. In particular though, The American College of Sports Medicine suggests that HIIT will:
- improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- improve insulin sensitivity, glucose tolerance, and lipid profiles
- reduce arterial stiffness and improved blood pressure
- increase skeletal muscle fat oxidation
- increase post exercise metabolism
- enhance weight loss
- reduce abdominal and subcutaneous fat
- increase exercise adherence
HIIT sessions can be undertaken in various forms and durations and is by no means limited to the gym. An example of a HIIT workout session could be:
- 40 seconds sprint & 20 seconds walk (4 sets )
- 40 seconds rower & 20 seconds rest (4 sets)
- 40 seconds cycle and 20 seconds rest (4 sets)
- 40 seconds skipping & 20 seconds rest (4 sets)
To see real benefits and improvements, you want to ensure that you are hitting your maximum effort during the high intensity phase. As always, you should consult a medical practitioner prior to engaging in any physical activity.
For more information, or if you would like personal training to get you started, contact Konti at email@example.com for an obligation free consultation.