HIIT Workout: All About High-Intensity Interval Training Workouts
Just as there are ways to work smart, there are ways to workout smart. HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, is a training protocol that delivers exceptional fitness outcomes in a short training session. It’s for those who want to obtain noticeable results – without spending all day in the gym or on the track.
HIIT: More Than Circuit Training
HIIT is characterized by short (typically 20-second) bursts of “work” followed by short rest periods, usually in a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio. These cycles are repeated until the workout is complete, sometimes in as few as 8 cycles. HIIT can be used both in cardio and strength-based workouts. These workouts may include running, cycling, bodyweight, or added-weight reps, just so long as they involve explosive movement. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking that HIIT is just circuit training. Instead, HIIT is all about intensity. The goal is to work at close to maximal output during the “work” cycles, then use the rest periods to recover before another work cycle begins. HIIT is simple in concept but extremely challenging on the body.
The Benefits of HIIT
HIIT is used widely by serious athletes to improve performance, including speed, explosiveness, and VO2 max (the available oxygen your system can access during exercise). There are myriad other benefits that both serious and recreational athletes can leverage, from improved insulin sensitivity to improved cardiovascular function. Because HIIT puts your body into an anaerobic state, it can also lead to weight loss, muscle gain, and improvements in body composition. Even a slightly dialed back version of HIIT – for example with longer rest periods or less strenuous work periods – more suited to non-athletes can deliver excellent results.
Before Your HIIT Session
If you’re new to HIIT, it can be easy to overdo it. Be sure to warm up properly before your session and maintain your form throughout the workout – it can be easy for your form to slip during multiple reps of bodyweight or load-bearing movement. If you’re unfamiliar with a movement, check with your trainer to ensure that you’re performing it correctly. Additionally, be aware that for longer classes or sessions, your overall max effort will be lower than for shorter sessions.
Because HIIT is so demanding, keep your sessions to a few a week, and intersperse them with other types of workouts, including active recovery days.
Explore HIIT at Optimum Human
At Optimum, we’re strident believers in optimizing every element of our lives. That includes how we approach fitness. The staff and trainers at our state-of-the-art total wellness center Optimum Human understand that you want to achieve optimum results in a time-efficient way that works to your schedule, which is why we’re pleased to offer HIIT as part of our schedule. To explore HIIT in our unique training environment, please get in touch.