Have you heard about HIIT training? If so, it’s about time you included a HIIT routine to your fitness plan, because the benefits of interval training are HUGE!
And if you haven’t heard of HIIT training (or high intensity interval training)…
Then read the rest of this article, and then include HIIT into your fitness plan!
First off, the Benefits of Interval Training
Interval training has had a lot of press in recent years, and has become massively popular among dieters. Why? Because Interval training does something amazing… Apart from burning off a load of calories whilst exercising, it SUPER charges your metabolism for the following 24 to 48 hours! That’s practically free calorie burning! All it costs you is 20 minutes of your time to perform your HIIT routine.
And then there’s the aerobic capacity (or VO2 Max) benefits. Research has shown that HIIT training can have just as much influence on your aerobic capacity as traditional longer endurance exercise.
But also, already fit athletes supplement their training with HIIT workouts and make extra gains in their aerobic capacity. Simple amazing!
As well as all this, there are even anaerobic benefits which you get from HIIT training which you don’t get from traditional endurance training. This is because the high intensity intervals push you back and forth across the aerobic/anaerobic threshold.
You don’t really need to know that. But you do need to know that this anaerobic training will increase your lean muscle mass, which means a permanent metabolic increase. That is, you’ll burn more calories for free!
Example HIIT Routine
I’ll give you an example running HIIT workout, but it is equally effective if used for swimming, rowing, cycling, hill walking, cross-training, circuit training. You just need to use your imagination a little.
A HIIT workout is basically a rotation between periods (or intervals) or high intensity and low intensity. Each period generally lasts for about one minute. So you’ll perform a high intensity interval for one minute following by a low intensity interval for one minute, and so on.
The workload for your high intensity interval is 90% of your absolute maximum effort, give or take a smidge. And your low intensity interval is around 50% of your maximum.
The aim is to build up to 10 high intensity intervals, so your overall duration for your HIIT routine is no more than 20 minutes.
So taking the running HIIT workout example, after a thorough warm up you would run your first minute at 90% of your absolute maximum sprint, then ease off to 50% for a further minute. Repeat this for the required number of high intensity intervals.
Believe me, this is a hard training session! If you get to the end and think it was easy…you should probably consider if you are working hard enough during the high intensity intervals.
Beyond your HIIT Routine
There are other types of intervals you can throw into your fitness plan too. Try Tabata training also.
You should still do the longer endurance sessions as well. The more variation in your fitness plan the more likely you are to reach your ultimate goal and achieve a better all round fitness. If you find long endurance sessions a little boring like I do, then add some Fartlek training to your sessions. This is another type of interval training.
For more weight loss workout programs, take a look through the list of free workout plans. Use or modify them to suit your own fitness goals. It you have a good routine of your own which you think might be of benefit to the home fitness community, then you can include your workout here.