You may have heard of HIIT before or may have even tried it yourself. But at the end of the day is it really for you? The answer, yes! HIIT training is for everyone as it can be simply modified to fit a person of any fitness and strength level.
What is HIIT?
HIIT sessions are intervals of high intensity work, usually between 20 seconds and 4 minutes, followed by either a short period of rest or lower intensity work. This rest period can be anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes depending on the length and intensity of the exercises. A simple example would be completing 100m sprints followed by 1 minute of rest or 1 minute of walking. Another example would be completing 10 push-ups, 30 mountain climbers and 200m on the rower followed by a period of rest or walking.
Doesn’t my walking for 30 minutes do the same thing? What are the benefits to HIIT?
The journal of Medicine and Science in sports and exercise found that completing 4 repetitions of 4 minute runs at a sprinting pace followed by 3 minutes of active rest completed 3 times a week saw greater adaptations in cardiovascular endurance, stroke volume (ability to pump blood) and heart strength compared with continuous exercise such as walking. HIIT also has the ability to increase lean muscle mass while actively lowering fat mass within the body when compared with continuous steady state exercise. One of the main benefits would have to be the fact that HIIT is a time saver. You can complete and burn the same amount of (if not more) calories in a shorter time period! For example you could burn 100 calories walking on the treadmill in over 30 minutes or in under 10 minutes during a HIIT workout.
These are just a few of the amazing benefits of HIIT. Other benefits include:
- Increase in fat burning (even after you leave the gym)
- Increase in muscle mass
- Time saver
- Increase in stroke volume (ability to pump blood)
- Increase in cardiovascular endurance
- Increase in the body’s ability to utilise oxygen
- Increase in metabolism
- Each workout can be varied
- Intensity can be changed depending on fitness levels
- Can be completed with or without equipment
HIIT training completed just 2-3 times a week can have all of these numerous benefits. It is challenging but also has the ability to be varied meaning it’s always going to be different!