In this series we look at some of the most effective training styles to spice up your workouts, including some free workouts for you to download and try!
We’ve already looked at AMRAPs, so now lets take a closer look at HIIT training, a must for anyone wanting to take their fitness to a new level.
High Intensity Interval Training is a form of interval training where you repeat all out bursts at maximal effort (90-100%) followed by recovery periods of around 50% effort. The length of HIIT workouts ranges from 4 minutes to 30 minutes, with repetitions varying in length. A general ratio of 2:1 is used for the work:rest periods. For example if you sprint for 30 seconds, then you’d walk for 15 seconds.
HIIT is a really effective way to increase VO2 Max (your true fitness level). So the next time you are doing a steady state workout (such as walk, run, swim or ride) try 5 x 30 sec sprints followed by a 15 second recovery.
Benefits of HIIT
- Efficient: Research suggests that fitness benefits gained happen much faster than steady state training, meaning those short 15 minute HIIT workouts can still get you great results.
- Burns fat: Not only do you burn more calories during a HIIT workout (versus a steady state workout at a lower intensity) but because your body was overloaded it kicks into repair mode, burning more fat and calories for the next 12-24 hours.
- Stoke that Metabolism: Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) increases the more lean muscle you have, HIIT training helps to build lean muscle.
Be Careful of:
- Overdoing it: More is not necessarily better when performing HIIT. Stick to the 4-30 minute timeframe and listen to your body regarding the frequency. If you’re performance is not improving, you’re feeling stiff, sore and drained, chances are you’re overdoing it.
- Under-doing it: On the flip side, don’t shorten your workouts assuming you are going to burn truck loads of calories doing HIIT. Keep an eye on total calorie burn per workout, and how true your maximal intensity really is.
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