HIIT Training: What Is It and Should I Be Doing It?

As I’ve been trying to switch up my workout routines as to not get too complacent and keep it fresh, I’ve stumbled across the wonderful world of HIIT Training.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training which is quick intervals or bursts of intense exercise followed by short periods of recovery.

Why Do HIIT?

  1. Efficiency, you get and keep your heart rate up fast and burn more fat in less time than traditional workouts
    • Ideal for a busy schedule, those who think they don’t have time to workout
    • 2 weeks of HIIT improves your aerobic capacity compared to 6-8 weeks of endurance training
    • Increases metabolism over time
  2. Effectiveness, increases your metabolism for up to 48 hours after your workout (you’re burning fat even after you’re workout is complete)
    • You’re kicking your body’s repair cycle into hyperdrive (ie. burning more fat and calories)
    • You burn fat not muscle, we all want to preserve our muscle!
  3. Ease, the actual workouts may not necessarily be easy but HIIT workouts tend to be quicker (most are 30min) and they’re convenient as you do not necessarily need a gym or equipment as using your body weight is sufficient
    • Though jump ropes and treadmills can fit great into a HIIT program, we are focusing on pushing our heart to its max and can do so through jumping squats, jumping lunges or, high knees
    • Having the ability to complete HIIT anywhere makes it easily accessible, HIIT workouts would be great for the #AroundTheWorldin10k Steps challenge, easily incorporating some activity on your vacations

A lot of people, myself included get bored with mundane, day in and day out sameness and there’s a need for a change of pace. HIIT workouts can provide the variety needed while still leading to or maintaining results.  Those who are new to working out can also incorporate some level of HIIT into their routines, moving at their own pace.

What Are Good HIIT Workouts?

  • Buttkicks
  • Squats (Jump, Sumo, etc.)
  • Lunges (Jumping, Back, Forward, Side)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Plank (Side, Forearm, Alternating, Jacks)
  • etc.

There are more moves that could fit into a HIIT routine, find your favorite and have at it. The most important aspect is to give each exercise your all, in short bursts, about 45 seconds, have a moment of rest, 15 seconds, and repeat. Find one of my favorite 24 min HIIT workouts HERE, including videos showing how to complete each exercise. Also look to youtube to see how to correctly complete workouts, watching for form.

How Often Should I Complete HIIT? 

Two to three days a week is a safe mark for high-intensity interval training. Anything more is not allowing your body the necessary recovery time. Completing other sessions such as resistance training in between HIIT is a healthy balance. Ideally, you should have a recovery day (rest or strength training) in between your HIIT workouts.

The first time and just about every time after I have completed HIIT I am super sore, during the workout I am out of breath, but afterward, I am always happy to have challenged myself and pushed my body to continue to get better and stronger.

What’s my workout schedule look like lately?

  • Sunday – Cycling w/ Strength Training 60min + 45 min of Barre 1x a Month
  • Monday-Bootcamp Strength Training/HIIT 60min
  • Tuesday- Bootcamp HIIT 60min
  • Wednesday-Rest Day
  • Thursday-Kettlebell Training/ HIIT 60min
  • Friday-Rest Day
  • Saturday- Cycling 45min

Watchouts: Going too fast or not paying attention to your form can lead to injury, as with any type of workouts, so be mindful and listen to your body.

Have more questions on HIIT? Leave a comment below.

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