If you’re looking for more fitness bang for your buck and you like variety, consider interval training. While interval training isn’t really new to the fitness industry, HIIT Training is relatively new in the fitness world. According to ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal’s November 2014 issue, high intensity interval training (HIIT Training) is at the top of the list when it comes to fitness trends. In my opinion, this “trend” is here to stay.
HIIT training consists of short bouts of intense exercise effort, followed by a recovery time equal to half the work time. For example, a person might work at a high intensity effort for 30 seconds, then recover for 15 seconds for one or several sets.
Reasons ITC Loves HIIT Training
I use HIIT Training primarily in Small Group Training environments because I find that people work hard in synergistic groups AND enjoy that hard work together as a TEAM. Even the most physically challenge participant of any given group will tell you that they are inspired to work harder than they would on their own.
It increases all around health and fitness levels quickly-In an article published by Club Business International, Brian Sutton, director of content development for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), explains that the recognized benefits of HIIT workouts include increased insulin sensitivity, decreased blood pressure, improved blood lipids, increased metabolic resting rate and improved heart and lung functioning. (Suffin, p. 25)
It’s adaptable-You can use it on any piece of cardio equipment: treadmills, elliptical, steppers, bikes, body weight, jump rope, etc..
It’s time efficient. Just a few small bouts of interval work can impact one’s fitness level.
It adds a huge focus factor-HIIT Training makes the time fly by. Most participants become so focused on the interval times and keeping controlled form, that they’re surprised to see they’ve reached the end of their workout time.
It can be used by all fitness levels. Beginners should always start off with a more moderate intensity effort, shorter bouts, using the appropriate modality and with the appropriate level of progression. Visit with an ITC fit pro before starting this or any other exercise program.
It helps you burn more calories at rest-HIIT has been shown to increase excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), helping to preserve muscle mass during weight loss, and improving anaerobic fitness. (Suffin, p. 25).
It adds a higher level of challenge-As opposed to steady state cardio conditioning. Interval training breaks up a monotonous workout and challenges participants to push past their comfort zones. This contributes to a higher level of achievement, giving the exerciser a higher level of satisfaction with their workout.
It adds a level of competition-Whether participants are having a friendly competition with other participants or just out to beat their own personal best, interval training simply makes workouts more engaging.
The key to safely and effectively integrating HIIT Training into your fitness program is progression. Adding speed and/or power to any movement can exacerbate a compensatory pattern. In other words, adding speed to poor form is a recipe for an injury. So, focus on form first and foremost before advancing.
Remember to integrate this type of training with just a few short bouts in the beginning. Make sure that your body is adapting in a positive way to the training.
HIIT training can be done on non-weight bearing machines, such as a recumbent bike, in order to reap the cardiovascular benefits with less strain on the knee, ankle and hip joints.
I recommend limiting HIIT Training to 2-3 times per week.
You should also include at least one weekly twenty to forty minute steady state cardiovascular workout on the bike, elliptical or treadmill. In considering a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) on a scale of 1-10, ten being extremely difficult, a steady state workout would be approximately a 6 or a seven. By incorporating both HIIT Training and steady state cardiovascular training, you are conditioning your body for both endurance and speed.
For a versatile HIIT workout, click here. If you’re a beginner exerciser, remember to start off slowly and build your effort level weekly.
Suffin, Jean. “It’s an Industry HIIT!” Club Business International, February 2014: p. 25
Posted by Terri Good at 8:24 PM