~Please keep in mind this article was written based on my personal experience, and my own research and findings. I hope this article will shed some light on what HIIT is and why it is beneficial. NOTE: Before beginning any type of intense training, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor or physician to get cleared for this type of exercise. If you have any questions, please comment ❤ Alena~
Most of us have experienced the Cardio obsession at one point in our lives. I.e. Spending hours on the treadmill or elliptical everyday, hoping to loose weight and see the results we’ve always dreamed of. The truth is steady state cardio alone will only do so much for most people, but to truly see a change in your body, and develop some lean muscle mass, you must incorporate a wider variety of training styles, pylometrics, weight training, and HIIT cardio to name a few. And DIET plays a huge part of course! Not restriction, but eating Wholesome, Healthy and Nourishing foods (but that’s a discussion for a different time..).
In the beginning of my Fitness journey, I was the girl who spent all my time at the gym doing cardio and I rarely ventured away from the Treadmill and Elliptical trainers. But after discovering Aussie Trainer Kayla Itsines’s Instagram account Spring of 2014, I began to realize that there were so many other forms of exercise to incorporate and try, including HIIT. I began incorporating High Intensity Interval Training into my routine around Summer 2014, and I have loved it ever since!
HIIT aka High Intensity Interval Training is now one of my Favorite forms of exercise. But what Is HIIT?
HIIT is an enhanced form of interval training and form of cardiovascular exercise. It is an exercise strategy with alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise (strength or resistance training) and less-intense recovery periods, usually 30 seconds “on/active” time and 30 seconds “off/rest”, lasting between 10-15 minutes. HIIT not only burns more calories during the workout, but also continues after you’ve finished your workout. Because the workout is more strenuous, your body needs more energy to repair and recover, so you actually continue to burn more Fat and Calories in the 24 hours following your HIIT session. Meaning it’s an intense and effective workout done in a very short amount of time!
HIIT is known for improving health, boosting weight and fat loss, promoting HGH (human growth hormone) production, and improving strength and stamina, among other benefits. It can be done in a variety of form of workouts, so long as it alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of low-moderate activity or even complete rest. From my personal experience, I saw a greater fat loss when I started incorporating HIIT style training into my routine in addition to a few low intensity cardio sessions. HIIT is a great way to get in a solid cardiovascular workout in a short amount of time.
- Here is one of my favorite articles that really lays out the Benefits for you and gives example workouts as well. Top 8 reasons why HIIT is great. http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/8-benefits-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit
There are many different forms of HIIT exercises and different on/off ratios and they all have so many benefits! Sprinting, biking, using a variety of resistance training exercises at a fast pace. My personal favorite form of HIIT is Sprinting on the Treadmill, using the 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off method. Sprinting on the treadmill allows me to see how fast I’m going, see the time in front of me and I can easily hope on and hop off to the side during my rest period. I typically do 15 minutes of 30/30 sprints with a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down period as well, for a total of 25 minutes. After warming up with 5 minutes of fast paced walking or a very light jogging pace, I increase the speed to a moderately high speed, but not my maximum. I do 2-3 rounds of sprints at this speed, then for the remainder I up the speed to 90-100 of my capacity, usually ranging from 16.3-17.0 kpm/.
This is what works best for Me and what I like the most. However, I do occasionally switch up my HIIT routine and do a session of a variety of high intensity exercises in a similar format. By combining a variety of body weight and weighted exercises, you can create your own High Intensity Interval Training routine. The key is to complete them in short 30 second bursts, giving your best effort, then have a short rest period. I encourage you ALL to do some research and find out what works best for you. If you are a newbie to HIIT training, I recommend starting out with 8-10 minutes of HIIT and gradually working your way up to 15 minutes total.
Need More Ideas? Check out these articles: 7 Minute HIIT sesh, 5 ideas for HIIT, Treadmill training
Now get out there and HIIT It!!! ❤ Alena
8 thoughts on “HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training.”
Don’t forget to still incorporate traditional weight training into your fitness regime. HIIT is great cardio but won’t build lean muscle on its own. Very well written article though! Cheers!
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Thanks for your comment and advice 🙂 I actually do incorporate weight training usually at least 3 days a week. And then I do a mixture of HIIT and low intensity steady state walking for cardio. I find a mixture works well for my body, but I’m still learning and always appreciate advice. Thanks again!
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Sounds great! Variety is the spice of life! Keep up the good work! 🙂
Hi Alena, I follow you on instagram and I do find you an inspiration! But, just a quick question. I’m going onto week 9 in 2 days’ time, and you said that it is when HIIT is incorporated into the workouts. May I ask, where does it state that? Because I just looked through the guide and I only see LISS written on Tues/Thurs/Sat, just like the past 8 weeks. I hope you could get back to me asap! It would help heaps. Thank you, and congrats on your fitness journey! 🙂
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Hi Mishel, thank you for your kind words! It is listed on page 17 of the BBG1.0 guide, it says 1-2 sessions of HIIT cardio training, it also increases resistance training from 2-3x a week to 3-4x a week. Hope this helps❤️ xx Alena
Thank you for this very informative post! I know that sounded like spam, but I promise I am a real person. I did wonder though, as someone starting out, do you do anything else when you do you HIIT? Because it’s seems odd going to the gym for just 10-15 minutes…And I can see Kayla says not do do HIIT and LIIS on the same day… I am confused! Haha Thank you for answering. Awaxx
Thank you for the comment Awa!
In response to your question about HIIT, typically I would not do much else, except do a warm-up before starting and a cool-down, so typically that meant about 25-30 mins total, plus some stretching. Not every day needs to be a long workout, and the after effects of HIIT make this a very efficient workout. Much love, ALena