What is An HIIT Workout?
Don’t laugh, but High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) was born from a method of training known as Fartlekking. This is a Swedish term that in English translates to ‘speed play’. A HIIT workout can be considered a more structured form of training based on the simpler principles of Fartlekking.
It was originally practiced as a way for runners to train to ‘push it to the limits at the very last minute in a race. It has since been discovered that in a less aggressive form it can actually be a good way to burn calories, maintain a healthy heart rate, and increase metabolism. It could also be practiced anywhere at any time and it costs nothing.
HIIT Workout involves taking on the challenge to go flat out for a given time, then resting for a few minutes, then going flat out again. The repetition of going ‘flat out, rest, flat out, rest’ in sets makes this form of training as effective as it is. Practise makes perfect and the more you practice HIIT the stronger you become.
Being able to perform at your peak at any given time helps you to get through life at a pace that allows you to keep up with the demands placed on your body by your chosen lifestyle. Think of those times when you’ve had to run after a bus, your dog or toddler, or to a meeting before it’s too late. These are the times when our bodies take serious strain. Although you may make it to that meeting in time, you’re feeling worn out before you even enter the office.
For these reasons and for more obvious ones like the fact that HIIT can m, maintain a healthy heart rate and burn calories fast. It has become a popular way to stay fit and healthy.
Of course, you shouldn’t just spring straight into this form of training. You’ll need to have a certain level of fitness first unless you want to experience a few painful side effects.
An average resting heartbeats between 60 and 100 times a minute, with between 70 and 80 beats per minute considered healthy. When an individual with a standard heart rate suddenly gives it their all their heart rate may go up to as fast as 140 beats per minute. If they’re not used to this, you can well imagine how their heart would react to being so rudely awakened. It is best to monitor your heart rate while performing this exercise.
Sample High-Intensity Interval Training Workout
Let’s take a look at a week-long program that will prepare you for HIIT. This you can do around the area you live or at the gym on a treadmill if it’s raining outside. Always start out with a good warm-up session for ten to fifteen minutes before you start any sort of exercise. Make sure you are warm and feeling flexible before you begin your workout.
On day one, after stretching, start out with a two-minute walk. Then move into a simple five-minute jog at a pace you are comfortable with. Using your watch, after the fifth minute go on ahead at a faster pace for a full minute (a ‘burst minute’), a pace you are still comfortable with. Don’t push yourself too hard the first time.
After a ‘burst’ minute, slow down to a walk for two minutes again. After two minutes pick up the pace to a jog again for five minutes and then after the fifth minute, move on to the ‘burst’ minute, then back to the walk again.
Do this on the first day in a set of three, ending your set with a two-minute walk. Always stretch to warm down when you’re done.
Begin by going through your warm-up routine. Start off with your slow two-minute walk then move into the five-minute jog, then after the fifth minute pick up the pace for the burst minute to almost twice the speed you were running at on day one. Practice this today in a set of three again, ending on the walk and stretch.
Today you will do the same as you have done on days one and two, but this time you will pick up the pace of the burst minute to almost maximum speed. Feel your breathing. If you start to feel light-headed you are probably pushing it too far too soon. Complete your set of three and then end on a walk and stretch.
Today you will follow what you did on day three but your set will increase to four, still ending on a walk and stretch.
Today will be the same as day four but you will increase the effort you put into your ‘burst’ minute. End on a walk and stretch.
Today you will complete a set of four, but you will push yourself further than you ever have before during your burst minute. This time you may very well feel a little light-headed. Once again don’t overdo it to a point where you feel like fainting or vomiting.
When training it’s important to take a day of R n’ R, rest, and recovery. Use this day to go for a short walk instead, purely to keep your muscles supple.
This program will get you started. The week following this one will involve you increasing the time of your burst. You could increase it to say 80 seconds, instead of 60.
As you move on over time you can increase your burst by 20 seconds each time until you reach 3 minutes. Some athletes go as far as to exert themselves for as long as 10 minutes, but this won’t be necessary if you’re working with HIIT purely as a way to keep fit and healthy.
Finally, it’s always good to keep some form of log or diary when you’re in training. Use your log to jot down any experiences you have during a session. This will help you to monitor your training and it should show you when you’re ready to give it you’re all.
I hope this has given you a good insight into High-Intensity Training. As always if you have not trained for a while it is a good idea to check with your medical professional before starting this type of training. You could also talk with a personal trainer at your Gym to workout a personalized program.
The key with a HIIT workout is to go into it slowly, building up the intensity as you go over the weeks and months. This will keep you injury-free and motivated, so you continue to get the most from this great fat-burning training.