What are HIIT Workouts and Why You Should Do Them
High-intensity interval training, aka HIIT, is extremely popular in the fitness world. And, for a good reason.
With our lives becoming increasingly busy, it is challenging to fit fitness into our lives. Well, with HIIT, you can hit (no pun intended) an incredibly hard and effective workout in only 20-30 minutes.
While you should exercise caution with any “get fit quick” workout or diet, HIIT is scientifically proven to yield the results you want. Of course, if you’re willing to put in the work!
What is HIIT?
We know that HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, but what exactly does that mean?
HIIT is a type of fitness training that requires you to hit your highest performance in short, yet intense bursts. Basically, if you’re not giving 110% and your legs aren’t shaking, then you aren’t going hard enough.
The purpose of HIIT is to keep your heart rate up and burn more fat in less time. By engaging in these highly intense bursts of movement, you are increasing your need for oxygen, which creates excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, also known as EPOC.
EPOC is the fancy scientific word for after-burn. The fat-burning effect of HIIT is hugely thanks to EPOC, which sustains fat-burning far after your workout is done, and you’ve moved on with your day.
So, does HIIT work? Yes, as long as you give 100% during your training!
How does HIIT work?
For your workout to be considered HIIT, you need to push yourself to your absolute max during every set. It can get intense, hence the name, which is why it’s also a short workout.
If you’re starting out with HIIT, a 1:2 ratio of work to rest is a great place to start. You can do an exercise for 30, 40, or 60 seconds, then rest for twice as long. For example, you can do a set of four exercises for 30 seconds on and 60 seconds off for five rounds, giving you a 20-minute workout.
As your fitness level progresses, you can move to a 1:1 ratio of work to rest and increase your reps and/or sets!
Examples of HIIT exercises
HIIT is super easy to do at home and in your own time. Plus, the exercises are simple:
- Jumping jacks
- Mountain climbers
- Russian twists
- Lateral lunges
- Star jumps
If you want results and are willing to work for it, but are short on time, then HIIT is definitely for you. If you stay committed and consistent, you will see results!