HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training and is the perfect solution for busy people that have a limited amount of time to train but still want to see results. In HIIT, you push your heart rate to the maximum before having a short rest. The types of exercise may vary, but you need to use every part of your body and work your cardiovascular system hard for HIIT to be effective.
HIIT is meant to be a short and very intense workout. A typical session should last between four minutes and 15 minutes. You are likely to end up with an overuse injury if you try to do long HIIT sessions. To prevent injury, limit sessions to 30 minutes. Don’t forget to include long recovery intervals for any sessions over ten minutes.
Build-up to HIIT
Before attempting HIIT, you should be able to work out for at least 20 minutes. HIIT is very intense, and beginners should work up to them to lower the risk of injury. Once you can walk for twenty minutes without stopping, you can add a single basic HIIT workout about once a week. Start with a jog and walk program and build up to plyometrics.
Eat Before Working Out
Your body needs fuel to perform at its peak, and you need to push yourself to get the best benefits from HIIT. Try to eat a meal or snack three to four hours before your HIIT workout begins. If you work out in the morning, try a light snack such as peanut butter and a banana before you train.
Find the right shoes
Spend time finding the correct pair of shoes for HIIT workouts. You will be moving quickly between exercises at a high intensity, and the correct pair of shoes can make the difference between enjoyment and a painful injury. Look for a cross training shoe with minimal lateral support.
Yes, HIIT workouts are intended to make the most of your time, but you risk injury if you don’t warm up before you start. A big bonus of taking the time to warm up is that you’ll likely be able to push yourself harder in training if your muscles are ready to work out.
Don’t overdo your HIIT workout
When you start HIIT workouts, make modifications for your fitness level. Don’t just take an advanced HIIT workout and push your body to the max on your first session. Ease into the training to reap the benefits and to lower your risk of injury. Watch your heart rate monitor and try to stick to your personal training zone. Skip the jumps or take a longer rest interval if your heart rate is too high.
Stick to short intervals
The longest interval for HIIT should be two minutes or less. You may be tempted to push beyond the two minutes of you are finding the exercise enjoyable or simple to do. The key to HIIT workouts is to keep changing the style of exercise to help tone your body in the fastest time. If you are not exhausted by the end of two minutes, you need to up your intensity level.
HIIT is essentially a cardio workout, but to achieve overall fitness, you will need to add a few strength training moves. Start your HIIT session with five to ten minutes of strength training in the weights section before moving on to a traditional HIIT workout. You may want to work your arms if your HIIT session focuses on your legs, and vice-versa.
The point of HIIT is to train smarter not harder, so try to limit your HIIT workouts to three per week. This lets your body recover between workouts, so you are at peak levels on HIIT days. If you want to work out on alternate days, try yoga or a walking to allow your body to keep recovering even as you move.
The Ultimate HIIT workout
This ultimate HIIT workout involves a 15-second sprint, ten push-ups followed by 10 squats. You can then take a 60-second rest before starting again. Aim to complete at least ten rounds. Once your body becomes used to the sequence, you can increase the sprint time, and try weighted squats or inclined push-ups to increase the difficulty. Try this workout three times per week and you will soon see results.