What is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a cardiovascular and strength training workout format that includes intervals of short bursts of exercise followed by rest intervals that allow the heart rate to come down. These heart rate spikes are the marker of a HIIT workout. HIIT workouts can be done with various approaches. For example, running in sprints and resting after each sprint would be considered HIIT. Most commonly, HIIT workouts include bodyweight, weighted and banded movements that also increase strength and muscle tone. 

What Are HIIT Intervals?

Intervals are a set of 10-60 seconds within a workout. There are two types of intervals used in a HIIT workout: exercise and rest. During an exercise interval, a movement is performed at the highest intensity possible while still maintaining correct form. The exercise interval is followed by a rest interval. For example, 30 seconds of Jumping Jacks followed by 30 seconds of rest repeated 5 times would make a 5 minute HIIT workout. With Group HIIT workouts, some movements are paired closely together to either increase the intensity or provide an "active rest" which is a lower intensity movement that still allows the heart rate to come down.  The length of intervals can vary depending on the intended audience of a program. During the exercise interval, you should feel like you are at a 7-10 range of maximum effort. The more intensity felt, the more likely you are to be burning fat.

HIIT workouts have shown to be effective in:

  1. Especially effective for women to lose weight 
  2. Losing more subcutaneous fat than steady state aerobic exercise like running on a treadmill.
  3. Improving cardiovascular health
  4. Easing arthritis pains
  5. Improved weight, blood sugar levels and cholesterol for type 2 diabetes

Want to know more about HIIT workouts? Watch this story.