HIIT Training – What is it?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. Basically it means short bursts of intense effort followed by short periods of rest, or low intensity exercise. The intense work periods may range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long, and are performed at 80% to 95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate. HIIT Training is mainly popular because the fitness benefits are similar to long slow cardio but are achieved in a shorter period so it means you can spend less time in the gym and more time doing other stuff! It also also has effects it has POST exercise, keeping the metabolism boosted long after you leave the gym (almost 2 hours).
Is HIIT Training effective?
It sure is. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT training has been shown to improve:
- aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- blood pressure
- cardiovascular health
- insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy)
- cholesterol profiles
- abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass
HIIT Training – should I be doing it then?
Well that all depends… Interval training has been an integral part of athletic training programs for many years because a variety of sport and recreational activities require short bursts of movement at high intensities. In order to incorporate it into your won exercise program you should have a foundational level of fitness. Having said that, you can pick almost any exercise you like, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be sprints on the rower, you could even choose more traditional weight training exercises. But the question for you is – will you be able to work at intensity? Some people really find it hard to push themselves up to 80-90% intensity, in that case, it might even be better to stick with your current routine.
Book in with a Hiscoes Trainer to update your program to include a HIIT Training session that’s tailored to you, or come along to one of our TEAM Training sessions to experience it. While you may not be able to push yourself that hard training alone, training in a group can help you reach the level you need to get to.