HIIT---High Intensity Interval Training
There has been an increase interest in interval training exercise. High intensity interval training or HIIT provides a burst and recovery cycle that can be an alternative to continuous aerobic exercise.
HIIT combines quick bouts of high intensity exercise with low intensity rest intervals. Exercise scientist showed that HIIT can boost the performance of competitive athletes, improve the health of recreational exercisers and it can provide the same benefits of continuous endurance training with fewer workouts.
There are several examples of interval training workouts ranging from 20-seconds to 1-minute work intervals with 10-seconds to 2-minutes rest intervals, the work-to-rest ratio may vary. One HIIT exercise which is considered the shortest in duration is the Tabata interval training. Tabata intervals follows the structure of push hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds providing a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio, you repeat this eight times for a total of four minutes. You can sprint, use weights, kettle balls, resistant bands or an exercise bike. It is versatile and easily incorporated into your training. An example of a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio is to sprint for 800 meters, rest the same amount of time it took you to run 800 meters and repeat this four times if possible. The length of the sprint can vary from 200- 1000 meters. A final example utilizing a 1:2 work-to-rest ratio is to run on a treadmill at a speed of 5 -6.5 mph for one minute then walk at 3 mph for two minutes, repeat this six to eight times. If these exercises are done properly they are tough. It is suggested that you have a timer such as a watch so you can see where you are in the workout; you do not want to have to think about the time, all of your concentration should be dedicated to the exercise. It is important to have warm up periods and cool down periods from five to 10 minutes each with any of these exercises. HIIT should not be done daily; it is suggested to add this to your exercise program one to two times per week.
Goals for any exercise program include a healthier you by improving your cardiovascular, metabolic and skeletal muscle function in the body. High intensity interval training is proven to provide these benefits. If you are a competitive athlete who wants to boost your performance or the recreation exerciser who wants to improve your health HIIT is a time efficient exercise that can assist you in reaching your goals.
As always please consult with your physician before starting any exercise or diet program.