HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training is a workout method that has quickly gained a reputation for burning calories and boosting metabolism like nothing else. As its name suggests, it’s fast, intense and utilizes an exercise-rest interval system. But what exactly goes into a HIIT workout, and how does it benefit beyond a regular cardio or weight room session?
The format of HIIT is fairly simple, typically 30-60 seconds of all out, high intensity activity, followed by an increment of rest. The total time of the workout can range from 20 to 30 minutes, allowing time for a good five minute dynamic warm-up and cool-down. The work to rest ratio can vary, often 1:1 (1 minute of work followed by 1 minute of rest) or 2:1 (1 minute of work followed by 30 seconds of rest). The intervals can be modified to your fitness level or to the mode of exercise, the important factor is giving an all-out effort during the work period. A large variety of different exercise modes can be used for HIIT, including;
TRX suspension training
Body weight exercises
Some great HIIT workout classes to check out here at the Y are MX4 group training, Boot Camp and Ab Lab!
HIIT workouts are easily modified for people of all fitness levels and experience. They yield benefits greater than those of a traditional cardio or resistance training workout, and those benefits can have a prolonged effect on the body. HIIT workouts have shown to improve cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cholesterol profiles, aerobic and anaerobic fitness, and decrease abdominal fat stores. Additionally, this form of exercise is proven to burn calories at a heightened rate. Even during post-exercise hours, calorie expenditure is increased by 15%1. This elevation in metabolism can be active for several hours after completing a HIIT workout.
The actual level of exercise intensity used for a HIIT workout is completely dependent on you! For some it may be bouts of jogging or walking at an incline, for others it could be burpees and squat jumps. The workout should be designed around your level, abilities and goals. High intensity interval training can be modified into anybody’s training program, and this quick workout produces many important health results!
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