What is HIIT?

Here is our simple guide to HIIT training, the benefits behind the workout and a home HIIT workout to enjoy.


What is HIIT?

HIIT workouts generally combine short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. These workouts often mix aerobic and resistance training. During your intense period of exercise, you should be aiming to work at around 80% of your maximum capacity. My two recommendations to help understand your level of intensity would be either;


Heart Rate Monitor -

This depends how much you wish to invest but there is a variety of options available. Using fitness watches (Apple, Fitbit etc) will now give you your current heart rate so you can get a better understanding of how hard you are training (or not hard enough.) If you would like to work out what your maximum heart rate is, you will need to do the following;

To estimate your maximum age-related heart rate, subtract your age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 – 50 years = 170 beats per minute (bpm)


If you wish to invest and take your training to the next level, there are companies such as MyZone that allow you to use monitors that link up to an app that will accurately read your heart rate and also let you know if you are within a fat burning, resting or aerobic zone in real time.


Borg RPE Scale -

If you're not interested in fitness gadgets, the Borg scale is a technique that has been around and used for years! Remain honest and truthful to yourself and this technique can be just as beneficial as the latest technology. Here is the scale listed below.


What are the pros of a HIIT session?

  • Time Efficient - Workouts can be from 10 to up to 30 minutes long

  • Variety - There is no set routine or group of exercises you have to work. Have fun with mixing up the time, exercises and also the type of training; 40:20, 30:15, 20:10 seconds as examples.

  • Adaptable - HIIT training can be done practically anywhere, train in home, outdoors or within the gym.

  • Intensity - No matter what your current fitness background or level, you will always gain benefits and enjoyment with HIIT training. Workouts can be tailored to match the level of fitness you have so you can see all the benefits and workout exhaustion.


What does a HIIT workout look like?

Try out our Live Tabata Style HIIT workout from one of our January online workouts. The workout is a variety of bodyweight exercises working on 20 seconds of exercise and 10 seconds rest for 20 minutes. No equipment is required to complete this workout.

It might be best skipping to about 5 minute mark to when the workout begins. This was a live workout and allowed time for participants to join and get warmed up ready.


The afterburn effect

Unfortunately, although some trainers and gyms will promote that just 20 minutes of HIIT training can keep the body burning fat for up to 24 hours after a workout - this isn't quite the case. Fortunately it's not all doom and gloom, researchers have now proven that after an intense HIIT workout, you're body can in fact continue to burn calories at a higher than normal rate up to 2-3 hours after your workout with the majority of the calories burnt within the first hour after exercising.


How often and for how long should I do HIIT?

Doing a HIIT session 2/3 times per week is more than enough to be able to achieve your personal goals.


Aim to do a variety of HIIT workouts, complete either a longer (20-30 minutes) HIIT workout by itself for your daily workout or complete a smaller (10-15 minutes) HIIT workout and move your session on to some strength/aerobic training.


Let us know below what you think to our guide to HIIT training and how you got on with our live HIIT workout.

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