There’s a lot of hype at the moment about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and with good reason. It’s been featured in newspapers and magazines a lot recently and in my line of work I often get asked about it.
The idea behind this kind of training is that you complete high intensity bursts of exercise (as close to ‘all out’ as you can) for typically 20-45 seconds, with recovery periods that can be either complete rest or low intensity.
This kind of training is preferably done with something that you can hit with 100% intensity, such as sprinting, rowing or plyometric exercises such as lunge jumps or squat jumps. Something like press ups wouldn’t be ideal, unless you were firing through the repetitions fast or making the exercise explosive by bringing your hands off the ground or clapping at the top of the movement.
Below is a YouTube video of me completing a HIIT workout known as Tabata. Tabatas are 4 minutes long and are made up of 8 rounds of 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of complete rest.
I believe that regardless of your fitness goals, high intensity exercise should make up part of your program. Our bodies respond very well to short bouts of all out effort and it helps to burn fat, build muscle and improve your cardio, especially for sport where short intense bursts of running and jumping are required for successful performance.
This kind of training will leave you feeling strong and energized, especially if all you’ve been doing are long, steady runs or cycles. I will write a piece soon on some ways to practice interval training that you can do anywhere.
If you are interested in learning more about High Intensity Interval Training and how it can benefit you, or if you’d like to schedule some HIIT sessions then please contact me.
Interesting stuff…. We haven’t gone down that route on exercise detail, we have written a sort of ‘summary’ on HIIT, a compilation/summary of university papers on what HIIT is and what it does– re-written into plain English! We would love to hear your comments…