High intensity interval training or HIIT has been a well used training system for elite athletes for a number of years and is becoming more and more popular with the everyday gym user. HIIT refers to any workout which uses an interval of short, intense anaerobic activity, followed by a less intensive recovery period.
Not only does high intensity interval training offer you more workout benefits and rewards in a shorter period of time, it comes with a large number of extra perks. So, if you haven’t already tried HIIT, then maybe reading on will motivate you enough to give it a try.
What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a training technique in which you give 110% effort in short bursts of activity followed by short resting periods which are either complete rest or sometimes involve movement at a much lower intensity.
What are the Benefits of HIIT?
Increase Your Metabolism and Burn More Calories
High Intensity Interval Training increases your excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC) which in turn increases your metabolism. This means that not only does HIIT workouts burn more calories during the workout itself, but also for the 24-48 hours afterwards. Therefore, you will be burning fat long after you’ve left the gym!
Fast and Efficient
If you are super busy and looking for a workout that gets the job done in a short period of time, then HIIT could be a great option for you. Studies have shown that interval training achieves better results in a short 15 minute workout than jogging on a treadmill for an hour straight. So with that being said, not having time to workout is no longer an issue!
Can be done Anywhere
HIIT workouts are great in the fact you can perform them anywhere meaning you can get fit around your existing commitments. As most HIIT workouts are completed in 20 minutes or less, even if you’re a busy corporate giant, you can now get in a quick workout in your office or even a hotel room while travelling. What more could you ask for?
You don’t need any Equipment
HIIT workouts tend to work even better without equipment. Any plyometric movements work well for interval training, whether it is high knees or jumping squats anything that is going to get your heart rate up to the max is going to work great.
You’re more Likely to Stick with it
HIIT workouts are intense and can be challenging especially for beginners, however, HIIT workouts are often both shorter and more enjoyable than your typical gym session and you start to see results relatively quickly. This means you are more likely to stay motivated to continue training.
Tabata training is becoming increasingly popular as one of the most efficient and convenient forms of high intensity interval training. It is made up of 8 sets of intense exercises with 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. This means you can get a high intensity, full body workout in just 4 minutes! Building this up to 5 rounds will give you a really great full body 20 minute workout which you can even perform in your office on your lunch break.
The great thing about Tabata is Not only will these workouts improve your fitness, burn more calories and give you a generally great overall workout, but the will also improve your stamina. Meaning you can start with a short low impact routine which will enable you to learn tabata style exercises quite quickly in order to workout for longer and start attempting a more difficult routine.
In Depth Beginner 10 Minute Tabata Workout
This workout is for a complete beginner. I will describe each exercise in detail below, all exercises are quite low impact and you can perform anywhere, even in your living room. Perform each exercise for 20 minutes as hard as you can and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat each exercise 4 times.
Fast Feet: On the balls of your feet small running steps as fast as you can (imagine you have hot coals under your feet!)
Modified Press Up: Hands on the floor shoulder width apart, support body on knees with legs crossed at the ankles and slightly elevated from the floor. Bend arms to lower body to about an inch from the floor, then raise back to starting position.
Jumping Jacks: Start with feet together and jump out to a star shape and jump back into the starting position.
Hold Plank: Lie straight out facing the floor, lift your body about 2 inches from the floor using your elbows and toes for support. Hold steady in this position.
Russian Twists: Sit on the floor in a crunch position (with shoulders and feet raised from the floor) twist your upper body from side to side touching the floor with your hands each time.
Example Advanced Tabata 20 Minute Workout
This workout is for someone who is at an advanced fitness level and already has a knowledge of how to perform tabata style exercises. The exercises are listed in bullet points to follow and all exercises are high impact. Perform each exercise with 20 seconds of high intensity and 10 seconds of rest. Perform 4 sets of each exercise.
So now you have an idea of what High Intensity Interval Training is, the benefits it can give you and how to perform a Tabata workout, why not give it a go! The best part is, you can do it in your bedroom in your PJs first thing in the morning and no one will judge your bed head!