High Intensity Interval Training (called HIIT by its fans) is all about delivering maximum muscle impact in minimum time. While many exercise routines take 60-90 minutes to complete, a typical HIIT workout can be done in less than half an hour. The strategy is to fully deplete the muscles of their oxygen through high-intensity exercise. This forces the body to burn fat in an anaerobic (without oxygen) energy cycle. Usually between six and ten repetitions of intense exercise make up a training session, with the entire sequence completed within twenty minutes.
A classic HIIT regimen consists of a stretch and warm-up period and then brief, maximum intensity exercises for 20-30 seconds followed by medium intensity exercises of the same duration. After 6-10 cycles of maximum/medium exercise bursts is a cool down exercise. The entire routine shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes.
Interval training is very popular with athletes because medical studies have shown a direct improvement in their performance after using the HIIT approach. An athlete performing at a high level can rarely increase their training time commitment further. Using the HIIT program allows them to continue to improve their endurance and start-stop exertion capacity.
For the rest of us, HIIT workouts can be a quick and rewarding way to get into better shape while we shed some body fat. Of course, this type of strenuous exercise should not be undertaken without the advice of your physician. Once you get the green light, a half hour a day can return some quick dividends!
Have you tried the HIIT workout? Hit (ouch, couldn’t resist) the Comment button and let us know your experience.