What is HIIT?

HIIT fitness training

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become increasingly popular over the last few years. It has gained a lot of exposure thanks to a number of trainers championing it on social media. It's quick, easy and accessible, making it a great option for people wanting to incorporate fitness into their daily lives. But what is HIIT and how does it benefit you? 

 

What is HIIT Training?

High Intensity Interval Training is a type of training involving short bursts of intense workout followed by rest periods, repeated for a length of time (usually 20-30 minutes). It was first used in the 1970's by the athletics coach Peter Coe, inspired by the training of Woldemar Gerschler and Per-Olof Astrand. The training involved repeated 200 metre sprints with 30 seconds recovery between each sprint. In 1996, Izumi Tabata used a similar method in his study of Olympic speedskaters, this time involving 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise (approx. 170% VO2max) followed by 10 seconds rest. This was repeated for 4 mintutes. 

The HIIT training common today works on similar methods used in the initial trials, with a mix of cardio, body weight and sometimes resistance exercises. The level of intensity of workout can be controlled by you - you can work at your own pace, with longer recovery periods and gentler workout periods to make it easier if necessary. The idea is that you are able to push your body to a higher intensity during the short work periods than you would during continuous training, causing your system to adapt more due to the increased load. 

 

Why is HIIT so popular?

HIIT training has become popular over the last few years due to it's simplicity and the quickness of the workouts. It can be done with no or minimal equipment, at home or outside meaning you don't need a gym membership and can easily fit it into your daily routine. Exercises and intensity can be easily scaled so that you are able to work at your own level. 

 

What are the benefits of HIIT?

High intensity interval training enables people to work at a higher intensity than during longer workouts, but for short bursts. It works the anaerobic system during the high intensity and the aerobic system during moderate intensity. Therefore in the same session you will increase cardiovascular fitness and anaerobic capacity. HIIT has been proven to significantly lower insulin resistance compared to continuous training, helping to decrease fasting blood glucose levels and improve weight loss. According to a 2011 study, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6-8 weeks of endurance training. The intense exertion also fires up your metabolism, helping you to continue to burn fat and calories for up to 24 hours after working out. 

 

Can anyone do HIIT?

Interval training is safe for most people, however it is always advisable to consult your doctor before taking on any new exercise routine especially if you have existing health conditions. We also suggest training with a qualified professional who can adjust exercises, work and rest times to suit you and your goals. 

 

If you would like to give your body a kick-start and incorporate some HIIT training into your life, why not join our Spring Into Fitness package and we will guide you through personalised HIIT sessions, with a healthy diet to support your training. 

 

See our full interview on the benefits of HIIT training for Spa Breaks here https://www.spabreaks.com/hottub/2016/12/hiit-fitness-comes-bailiffscourt/