High Intensity Interval Training includes high levels of intense exercise followed by a period of recovery in between series.
HIIT can come in many different forms such as weights or cardio.
My favorites include:
- Hill sprints
- Assault bike
- Battle ropes
The high level intensity part of the training is typically between 10-40 seconds and should be given 110% max effort. When performing active rest (the recovery), you should be working between 50-60% of you maximum trying to bring your heart rate down. For example, if running at high intensity, you can bring down the intensity to a brisk walk. The rest is typically be between 20 – 90 seconds.
A huge benefit of performing HIIT is that it does not interfere with muscle building. HIIT is very similar to resistance training, which challenges your muscles to lift heavy weights explosively for short durations. This results in complimentary adaptations.
For example, if you are training 30 seconds on/ 60 seconds off, this would be the equivalent to doing a set of weight training of 10 reps.
In addition, scientific research has proven that HIIT has a positive effect on cardio vascular fitness and that blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol also vastly improve.
Lastly, if you have a busy lifestyle and not too much time on your hands, HIIT can take a lot less time compared to steady state cardio but you can still burn a similar number of calories whilst also generating the associated health and performance benefits.
An example of a HIIT workout sequence that you can do at the end of your next training session and that I even do with my own clients is 10 rounds of 10 second (hard work) with 30 seconds active rest. This takes no longer than 6 minutes!