Saturday, 14 July 2012

High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT Training

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a form of exercise that mixes the intensity of a workout. A typical HIIT workout will include warming up, moderate intensity exercise, high intensity exercise and a cool down. The number of times each of these sections is performed will vary between workouts. This type of training is generally associated with cardio exercises such as cycling and running.

Benefits of HIIT Training

There are a number of benefits associated with HIIT training.

First of all, HIIT can be used to save time. As it requires short bursts of high activity, the length of the workout is cut short. This means that HIIT can be used when we are short of time to still gain great results. Essentially, we can still get the same results as a longer, moderate workout in less time.

Secondly, HIIT has been shown to help to increase our resting metabolic rate, which basically means that we will be burning more calories during rest. If we are aiming to lose the flab then HIIT is certainly a method of training that can be used.

Another benefit of HIIT appears to be the suggestion that we will not lose muscle mass from exercising. When trying to lose weight, it is suggested that standard cardio exercise can contribute to the loss of muscle mass.

HIIT is a very challenging method of exercise. This is good because it can encourage us to workout when we have challenges to test ourselves.

There are, of course, other benefits associated with HIIT training, but these are some of the main advantages.

Example Workout

Here is an example (adapted from the Men’s Health Website) of HIIT training on an exercise bike.

1)      Cycle at a low resistance, low intensity for a brief warm-up of 3 minutes
2)      At this point we need to increase to a higher intensity for 30 seconds
3)      Again, increase the intensity of the workout and aim to increase every 30 seconds until we can no longer hold the intensity level
4)      After this we should rest for 3 minutes
5)      Repeat the workout for the desired number of times (1 for beginners, 3 for advanced)

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