High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the rage right now! A HIIT workout can be done in as little time as 20-30 minutes and as much time as 60 minutes. It is done with periods of intense exercise lasting 30 sec to 2-3 minutes. The intense bouts are done at the 80-95% of the person’s maximum heart rate. Between the intense periods are recovery periods, bringing the heart rate down to 40-50% max heart rate.
Why do a HIIT workout? HIIT workouts provide similar benefits as endurance workouts but can be done in a shorter amount of time. Also, you tend to burn more calories due to the EPOC (Excessive Post Oxygen Consumption) effect. The EPOC effect is a phenomenon where the heart rate stays slightly elevated after the workout while the body is recovering to pre workout levels. This generally only lasts a couple hours, but due to the vigorous nature of the HIIT workout the EPOC effect can last several hours, causing the body to burn more calories than your typical endurance session.
Studies have shown these additional benefits from a HIIT workout:
- An increase in calories burned during & post workout (EPOC)!
- Overloading the heart & lungs increases the efficiency of the cardiovascular & respiratory systems
- An increased metabolic rate
- HIIT improves the body’s ability to use oxygen and insulin
- Helps control blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes
- More effective at reducing fat relative to lean muscle tissue
- Been proven to help reverse symptoms associated with many chronic ailments
*Before starting any new exercise program, medical clearance may be appropriate*
American College of Sports Medicine. High Intensity Interval Training.
New York Times. Why Your Workout Should Be High-Intensity.