HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training
This is a training method that involves a period of really hard (intense) activity (work) followed by a short period of rest or active recovery. The process is then repeated a number of times (5-15) for up to 20 minutes.
For example: sprint for 30 seconds & rest or walk for 30 seconds and repeat 10 times. (A method used extensively by athletes.)
The main advantages of using interval training over other methods such as continuous training (traditional cardio work) are that it allows you to get fitter faster, burn more fat & get stronger. It is an inexpensive and highly adaptable form of training that is ideal for modern busy lifestyles.
Here are the benefits in a little more detail:
Benefits of HIIT
- Great Results in Minimum time – Proven to get you aerobically fit (improve aerobic capacity – VO2 max) faster than slow continuous exercise – Dr Tabata’s research (1996) showed that high-intensity interval training lasting only 4 minutes (on a bike, consisting of 20 seconds of maximum effort and 10 seconds of rest for 8 total rounds) had a comparable improvement to aerobic fitness as performing 60 minutes of continuous training. Thus making HIIT an ideal training method for those who are very busy. You can easily squeeze a 10- 20 minute HIIT workout in before work or during your lunch break that will do the same for your fitness as a 60 minute run on a treadmill at the gym.
- Strengthens & tones muscles – it stimulates a release of human growth hormone which is responsible for increasing lean muscle tissue and reducing body fat.
- Increases fat burning during exercise – the more intense the exercise (the harder you are working) the more calories you will burn and the greater the physiological changes that take place which in turn aid fat loss. (Secretion of growth hormone, increased fat oxidation in the muscles, lower insulin resistance.)
- Increases fat burning after exercise – Research shows that there is a period of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) following HIIT sessions. This is attributed to fat burning. The higher the intensity and longer the duration of the exercise, the greater the (EPOC) and post-exercise fat burn that can be achieved. (3 – 24 hours)
- No equipment required – as it is a cardiovascular training method, exercises just using body weight can be used making it an inexpensive form of training that can be done almost anywhere. Any exercise that uses the large muscle groups can be used, such as running, jumping, squats, lunges, press ups and burpees.
- Adaptable – Activities requiring equipment such as cycling, skipping, rowing can also be used as can resistance training (weights, bands, medicine balls, kettlebells). It can be adapted to different sports & exercise activities, providing lots of variety which helps prevent boredom & training plateaus. The duration and intensity of the work & rest intervals can also be varied to provide slightly different training effects.
Combined Fitness uses High Intensity Interval Training in it’s Bootcamps & online Fat Loss Programme (FLAP) to get maximum fitness & fat loss results.