High Intensity Interval Training is a type of cardiovascular training in which the participant performs short periods of intense cardiovascular exercise with periods of less intense cardiovascular exercise.  HIIT training is extremely demanding when performed correctly.  Most HIIT sessions last approximately 30 minutes depending on the participant’s fitness level.

HIIT training will help improve athletic capacity and will help with glucose metabolism.  Research has shown that HIIT training greatly accelerates whole body fat loss and increases fitness capacity quickly.  This type of training, when done correctly, places an extremely high demand on your cardiovascular system and will test your motivation.  Some have questioned whether or not the general population can tolerate this type of training.

How do you perform this type of training?  As stated before, HIIT training is extremely intense when done correctly.  This is truly a “blood and guts” training regimen.  HIIT training can be done in a variety of ways.  This of course is an anaerobic exercise which does not include resistance or weights.  Below is an example of a HIIT training program.

The first thing you will need to do is decide how you will perform a HIIT session.  This can be done on a treadmill, stepper, elliptical, or outdoors on a track or field.  Although the average time used to perform HIIT training is approximately 30 minutes, if you can last that long.  The first 10 minutes should be used as a warm-up.  The warm-up is not meant to be very strenuous.  Take this time to take long strides moving your arms in a large motion.  This way you will fully stretch all of your major muscle groups.

For the sake of this discussion I will be using an elliptical.  After you have completed a warm-up, which should be about 10 minutes, you will increase the machine guided resistance.  Baring that you have already figured out what 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate is, increase the intensity.  Remember this is an ‘all out’ exercise so you must increase the speed of the movement drastically.  Stay at your maximum speed for 30-40 seconds.  Once you reach 30-40 seconds drop down the resistance and slow your movement down to what seems to be a slow walk.

Once you have reduced the resistance and have slowed your movement, stay at this range for about 15-20 seconds.  Keep an eye on your heart rate as it begins to come down.  Once you have been at this level for 15-20 seconds, immediately pump up the resistance and speed.  You should be going at full speed, all that you can handle, for another 30 seconds.  After this 30-40 second cycle is complete bring the resistance and speed down again.  Stay at this level for another 60 seconds.  Repeat the above 2 steps for 30 minutes alternating between High Intensity and Low Intensity levels.

You can perform HIIT training on just about every cardiovascular exercise out there.  Besides it’s not really a matter of the chosen exercise, it’s about the effort you put in.  There is a reason why it’s called High Intensity Interval Training!  If you are not giving it your all, not pushing yourself past your comfort zone, not completely exhausted at the end you will not completely benefit from this type of training.  A major benefit to a HIIT program is that you increase your metabolism during the work-out which forces your body to burn more fat at rest.

HIIT Training is a great way to get the most out of your work-out in the shortest amount of time.  If you have a busy schedule and find that you using the excuse of not having enough time to work-out regularly, then a HIIT Training program may be what you need.


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