If you’ve ever broken your butt in a bootcamp or crossfit style workout, you’re already familiar with HIIT or high-intensity interval training. It’s a hit, drag down, push until I throw up some exercise if I’m honest. While it seems to be one of the favorite fat-burning exercises of many personal trainers, it has many merits besides making you sweat. If you have no idea what I’m talking about and you keep asking “what is high intensity interval training”, let’s start from the beginning.
HIIT is also known as high intensity intermittent exercise or even speed interval training. By definition, it is a training strategy when short, intense segments of anaerobic exercise alternate with less intense and active recovery periods. By comparison, most endurance workouts, such as rowing, stair climbing, or running, keep your heart rate and effort level at a moderate intensity.
What are the benefits of high intensity interval training?
Well, cardiovascular benefits aside, it’s one of the most effective fat burning workouts you can do! HIIT workouts tend to lower fasting insulin and increase insulin sensitivity, which is related to that nasty belly fat or (subcutaneous fat) that we all want to get rid of.
What is a HIIT workout?
Generally speaking, the high intensity portion of the workout is held between 30 seconds and a couple of minutes. I say generally because there is no exact definition, but the higher the intensity, the lower the speed. The recovery part of interval training is usually equal to the “intense” part. HIIT workouts can also incorporate weights or just use your own body weight. Most bootcamp or crossfit workouts follow this type of interval training. (so you may want to grab a pair of crossfit gloves to protect your hands)
What is an example of a high intensity interval training workout like?
It really can be as simple as a combination of sprints and recovery periods, which most people may be familiar with in their personal training sessions. If you’re still asking “what is high-intensity interval training”, put your butt off and try this:
60 second sprint or brisk jog followed by
60 seconds of slow jogging or walking
Now do that a few more times without resting and voila … now you are a fan of a HIIT workout! Regardless of the exercises the workout itself involves, it is sure to be your ideal workout to bend over and shed those last pesky 10 pounds.