Whether you're new to the world of fitness, or an old pro, learning to make the most of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT can feel trickier than that of many other workouts. This workout believes in maximizing calorie burn. It does so through increasing the intensity of the activity up, and thus the heart beats faster for a brief period, then spend a certain amount of time recovering – or bringing your heart rate back down. There are many benefits to this type of exercise routine that lots of trainers have begun to make the most of. It is said that this type of fitness routine can cut your exercise times in half in many cases, while still delivering the fitness goals you set for yourself. There are some things to watch for when it comes to HIIT workouts, though, as too much of a good thing is always too much and this might be where many people struggle. Finding the right balance of high intensity interval training, strength, and stretching can be difficult for many to start, which is why it's always a good idea to learn all you can about adding this type of workout to your routine before you jump right in.
HIIT workouts are an excellent way to increase your cardiovascular fitness and health. They are also excellent for weight loss and getting a lean look, as they can increase the metabolism for hours post-workout. For those who find themselves stagnant in their long workouts or feeling like they need something different, but still highly effective, a high-intensity interval workout might be just what they need. It is effective because it consists of short bursts of intense cardio activity – think heavy breathing, where you almost can't talk – then a quick recovery time to bring your heart rate down.
The short burst of activity is hard, but it doesn't last long, and it can allow for a greater calorie burn than sustained cardio sessions. The increase in intensity followed by recovery times helps to increase cardiovascular fitness and health.
The only equipment necessary for a great HIIT workout is what the user prefers to be using. If weights are part of the plan, then dumbbells of varying sizes should be available. If the workout is taking place on an elliptical or treadmill, then of course those machines will be necessary.
A high intensity interval workout is, as the name suggests, intense. This means that the best workout will require energy to start. This is not a gentle workout for those tired or draggy days.
Many people choose to do 15 to 30-minute long high intensity interval training workouts, and that requires that during the whole "intense" time of as little as one minute and sometimes as many as four minutes be sustained. After the high-intensity time, it is important to slow down enough to bring the heart rate back to normal levels.
There are many questions that can be asked about HIIT. Hopefully this section can offer up some quick answers.
Q: How often should one do HIIT workouts?
A: Most experts agree that this type of workout should only be done about three times weekly since it is intense activity and the body needs time to recover.
Q: Are all high intensity interval training workouts considered cardio?
A: Yes. Even in the routines where weights are added, the intense bursts of activity are considered to be cardio.
Q: Will everyone see results from doing a HIIT workout?
A: As is the case with any workout program, the results a person sees will depend on the effort they put forth, their diet, and many other factors.
Q: Can I do high intensity interval workouts outside?
A: There are many ways to take a HIIT workout outside, even if it's just in the backyard. Jogging to sprinting is one example of an outdoor HIIT workout.
Q: Are there high intensity interval workout videos?
A: Since many trainers now incorporate some type of cardio activity with most of their programs, it is possible to find a wide variety of HIIT workouts to stream or download.