HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, can help you make great strides in your fitness journey depending on your individual fitness goals. Let's break down what HIIT is, how it can benefit you, and how to get started!
What does high-intensity interval training (HIIT) mean?
Before diving into the reasons you should jump on board this trend, I’ll first answer, “What exactly is HIIT?” Simply put, a HIIT workout consists of swift and intense intervals of exercise ranging from 10 seconds to five minutes followed by short recovery periods in between exercises.
The key to doing an effective HIIT workout is to push yourself to your limit (without causing injury) for the interval length duration. So if your interval length is 20 seconds, you will probably be pushing yourself a lot harder than if your interval length is three to five minutes.
Your recovery period will depend on your goal as well as the intensity of the interval.
Benefits of HIIT Workouts:
- Fitness performance
- VO2 max and peak aerobic power output
- Endurance performance
- Production of growth hormones
- Improves blood sugar control
- Improves cognitive function
- Mood regulation
- Learning and memory function
- Insulin resistance
- Resting heart rate
- The amount of time you have to spend working out!
How to get started?
- Increase the intensity of your workout. Interval training is highly effective for burning more calories without adding more time. Add intervals to your activity, such as sprints or speed walking, for a more efficient, fat-burning workout.
- Increase the resistance and/or weight of your exercise.
- Increasing your workout resistance will increase your metabolic burn
A few ideas to get started with:
Divide your workout into 5-minute segments and after a 5 – 10 minute warmup, do a 15-60 second sprint, followed by recovery.
- 15 – 30 second sprint, followed by a light jog to recover.
- 30 – 60 seconds of speed walking, followed by a recovery walk.
- 30-60 second cycle sprint followed by a recovery pace.
Fueling Tips For Your HIIT Workout
- Hydrate. Make sure you are drinking enough water before, during, and after your workout! Being dehydrated will impact performance and can increase the risk of injury.
- Fuel with moderate-to-high carbohydrate foods three to four hours before your HIIT workout.
- Recover with a high carbohydrate and moderate to high protein meal or snack within an hour of your HIIT workout. Your post-workout meal is vital to restoring energy and repairing muscle tissue!
- Post-workout meal and snack ideas include dried fruit, trail mix, and nuts, a smoothie with Greek yogurt and fruit in it, peanut butter with nut butter, whole-wheat/grain toast with nut butter, avocados, guacamole or hummus with chicken and pita, low sugar, whole-grain cereal with fruit and milk.
- Schedule a consult for a personalized nutrition plan. Nutrition and energy needs will vary depending on your individual needs, goals, and workout. To maximize your effort and performance, scheduling a consultation can ensure you are fueling for optimal performance.
Article contributed by amfamfit
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