High intensity interval training a form of interval training. It is a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense exercise with less intense recovery periods.
During HIIT one performs a short burst of high-intensity exercise followed by a brief low-intensity activity or period of rest, repeatedly, until too exhausted to continue. An example of this will be to cycle as fast as you can for 30 seconds and then slow down for 30 seconds, and repeat this cycle for ten minutes. Another example is when you do burpees for 30 seconds and rest for 10 seconds before you do another set of burpees for 30 seconds, etc.
Though there is no universal HIIT session duration, these intense workouts typically last no more than 30 minutes, with times varying based on a person’s fitness level.
High-intensity interval training can be an exercise session composed entirely of HIIT exercises or can be part of an exercise plan. You can do a 20 minute HIIT exercise routine once a week, and the other days you might combine ten minutes HIIT with a 20 minute weight training session. You can do it as a stand-alone routine or combine it with any other routine, like stretching or core.
You normally start with a warm-up period, and then you do several repetitions of high intensity and low intensity cycles, then a cool down period. While doing the high-intensity component, you have to go to max capacity. Give it everything you’ve got. When doing the lo-intensity component, you can either rest or do the same exercise (like cycling) at about 50% of your max capacity. The number of cycles you do will vary depending on the exercise.
HIIT workouts are great for improving athletic capacity. It is also very beneficial for glucose metabolism. It also improves muscle and bone mass. But the most important improvement is the reduction in body fat.
It is a very rigorous exercise routine and requires a lot of discipline.
How intense is “high-intensity”
This depend on the person and their fitness level. For some people it can be to simply walk at a brisk pace and for other it can be sprinting. Start with a 2:1 ratio and work on it from there. In other words, start with 40 seconds cycling as fast as you can and 20 seconds slowing down to about ½ the speed. Repeat until you are too tired to do any more. Or if you are really unfit, you might decide to start with 20 seconds of cycling as fast as you can, and 20 seconds of half intensity. As you get fitter, you increase the high-intensity period and slowly decrease the low-intensity period.
And entire HIIT session can be anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level. It is considered as the ideal workout when you have limited time available.
Cardiovascular Fitness (Heart Health)
This type of training leads to improved cardiovascular health in adults aged 18-45. It improves your VO2 max.
VO2 max is the measurement of the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense exercise.
HIIT exercise also leads to improvement in blood vessel function and markers of blood vessel health.
HIIT significantly lowers insulin resistance and helps improve type 2 diabetes. It leads to modestly decreased fasting blood glucose levels and increased weight loss.
HIIT is a much more intensive workout. It is hard work and you need a lot of discipline to stick to the program, but the results are great! You will feel so much healthier. You will have a lot more stamina and you will be able to do a lot more without feeling short of breath. It is really a great way to get fit and stay fit!