What Is HIIT And Why You Should Be Doing It

HIIT
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 HIIT has been a buzzword in the health and fitness world for about three years, now. That’s too long for a fad: HIIT is here to stay. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a great training plan to consider. 

HIIT is an abbreviation for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a new approach to training that allows you to get better results in less time than traditional workouts require. It’s a great way to get healthy, increase strength and feel better. 

HIIT Training For Fitness

Why Is High-Intensity Interval Training Popular?

Training with HIIT as a strategy helps you get great results, and do so quickly. HIIT intervals can be as short as 20 seconds of heavy exertion followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Or they can be as long as 3 minutes of exertion and 3 minutes of recovery. In either case, a set of these intervals goes much more quickly than a five-mile jog or an hour-long yoga class. HIIT is also endlessly adaptable.

And the strategies can be used with almost any form of exercise. Whether it’s biking, running or group fitness classes, HIIT can be incorporated. This flexibility is one thing that helps make HIIT great. You can apply HIIT to a variety of activities, instead of forcing yourself to repeat an activity over and over until you’re bored with it.

What HIIT Does

HIIT speeds up your metabolism. With High-Intensity Interval Training, your metabolism gets a boost that lasts for days. For 48 to 72 hours after the workout, your body will still be burning calories at a faster rate than normal. Because of this increased burn, HIIT has rightly revolutionized the way most trainers and fitness pros design workouts. 

How To Do It

HIIT is a form of interval training. Traditional interval training is done by alternating rest periods with exertion. HIIT takes it up a notch. You work at 80-95% of your maximum heart rate for a short interval. Then you do activity at a lower heart rate for recovery. Generally, the recovery period is shorter than the exertion period. But in some cases, each period will last the same length of time. 

Exertion at 80%-plus of your maximum heart rate is unsustainable for very long. That’s one reason HIIT workouts tend to be shorter than traditional ones. But getting that heart rate way up gets big results. The rest periods require moderate exertion, too. Heart rate should be at 40-50% of the max.

The Results And Benefits Of HIIT

HIIT has all kinds of great effects on your body. Although you’ll look and feel better, that’s not the only benefit you’ll see. This type of workout will actually help you increase your endurance more than something like slow jogs will. It improves your cardio fitness, helps you build fast-twitch muscle fibers, and reduces insulin resistance.

HIIT can be adapted to any fitness level. Even if you have a condition like Type II diabetes or struggle with your weight, there’s a level of HIIT that will work for you.

Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. He regularly writes for health and fitness blogs.

HIIT


Have you tried High-Intensity Interval Training yet? What did you think?

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4 Comments

  1. I actually just tried HIIT for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I went to my first kickboxing class, and they started the class with 20 minutes of HIIT drills. It was intennnnnnseeee!

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