What’s All the Hype with Interval Training?
High Intensity Interval Training, otherwise known as HIIT or interval training, is the cutting-edge and most efficient way to burn fat. HIIT workouts are much shorter than a normal workout, but that does not mean that they are easier. In fact, they are quite the opposite. During interval training workouts, you do a few exercises for about 3 minutes with as many repetitions and as fast as you can. If you do this, you will be beyond out of breath by the end of the drill. When you are so out of breath like this, you are working out anaerobically.
What does “anaerobic” mean? It means that you are not delivering oxygen to your muscles. For those few minutes, you are actually building up lactic acid. After those 3 minutes or so pass, you take a rest or recovery. During this time you should still keep moving because your heart rate still needs to be medium to high, just not as high as during the drill. Also, during this period you deplete the lactic acid which had built up and prepare for the next drill of 3 or so minutes.
So why does this work? Well, there are many benefits to doing this type of training. First, you will be raising your heart rate much higher than you would during normal cardio. This will affect two things: one is it will help increase your Resting Metabolic Rate or RMR and also it will increase your cardiovascular fitness. Professional athletes use HIIT workouts to train so that they can go longer and harder during sporting games.
But that’s not all. There are many other reasons why HIIT is so popular nowadays. HIIT has been proven to burn more calories than normal cardio in a shorter amount of time! Furthermore, your body will burn calories for up to 48 hours after your workout! This is known as the after-burn effect and is incredible!
What you should know before starting HIIT?
I know, I know. It sounds great. So what is the catch? There really is no catch, but there are a few things that you should know before you start doing interval training. Most importantly, if you are not already physically active, HIIT probably is not for you. HIIT is designed for people who are already in shape and ready to go to the next level. You should start out with regular cardio and when you can do continuous cardio for about 30 minutes then you can try some interval training. The most crucial part of High Intensity Interval Training though is the fact that you are working anaerobically. So if you are not going 101% for those few minutes of the drill, it will not be effective. In essence, you will only be doing regular cardio which is aerobic (with oxygen) instead of the HIIT cardio. Lastly, you really should only do interval training at most 3 times a week, every other day. This is because, as the name indicates, High Intensity Interval Training really is that intense. By the end of your workout you should be completely physically exhausted. So on your off-days, your body can recover from the hard work you just put it through. On the in between days you can do other types of exercising such as strength training, but you just don’t want to do HIIT workouts two days in a row. On top of that, your body is smart and you don’t want to repeat the same exercises every day. You and your body will get bored so always switch it up!
Which exercises will be great to start with High intensity interval training?
So now that you know the basics about interval training, let’s talk about an example workout. Some great example exercises to incorporate into your drills are switch kicks, burpees, jumping jacks, butt kickers, tuck jumps, lunges, etc. A good way to start is to create a drill. Pick 6 exercises you want to do. Set a timer for 30 seconds. Do the first exercise for 30 seconds and as soon as the alarm goes off, go on to the next drill. After you complete your 6 exercises, one you should be completely out of breath and two you should take a 30 second rest. Then repeat the drill again.
Now you have all the ideas on HIIT, why it is so effective, and how you can start your interval training now! All that is left to do is getting started.