High Intensity Interval Training*

Wednesday, 17 February 2016, By Andrew Isaac

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is a training idea in which low to moderate intensity intervals are alternated with high intensity intervals. HIIT offers an exercise concept unlike anything else. However, the main aim of HIIT, like many other methods, remains to be an overall reduction in body fat.

HIIT can be applied to any cardio exercise such as running, elliptical, bike or rower. HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal (steady-state) cardio because the intensity is higher and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.

Research has shown HIIT to burn adipose tissue more effectively than low intensity exercise - up to 50% more efficiently. It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.

The basic idea behind utilizing this interval training is to alternate a maximum effort activity with a recovery period consisting of lighter work. Overall, the typical workout can last only about 15 minutes in total, but still have a dramatic effect on the loss of adipose tissue.

 

Who Would Benefit The Most From An HIIT Regimen?

Trying out a HIIT program is highly recommended for anyone not satisfied with their current progress in fat loss using steady-pace cardiovascular exercises. It is also beneficial for anyone looking to burn as much fat as possible during a cutting phase, anyone looking to minimize fat gain during a bulking phase, or anyone looking to increase aerobic and anaerobic endurance significantly would all benefit greatly from a HIIT regimen.

However, the benefits don't stop there. The short duration of the workouts associated with interval training prevent the body from entering the catabolic state that can happen with extended steady-rate cardio. This most often occurs when activities are prolonged and the body starts breaking down muscle tissue to use as fuel. Because it may also increase the production of many anabolic hormones, HIIT is the perfect method for losing fat while retaining muscle mass.

High intensity interval training has not only been shown to be superior to other forms of training, but it's also a way to escape the tedium of long, boring cardio sessions. Many of us do not have the time for such "nonsense", while those that do often find themselves weary of the mindless task. HIIT provides a greater challenge, requiring greater resolve and concentration to complete.

 

What Kind Of Results Can You Expect From HIIT?

HIIT will accomplish two goals: it will help accelerate fat loss and improve aerobic and anaerobic endurance. HIIT will most likely produce very fast results in a short period of time which is why it has been gaining popularity ever since it was introduced to the bodybuilding community.

Nobody can promise any specific results but it is feasible that after an 8-week cycle of HIIT combined with weight training, you and those around you will be able to notice a significant change to your body.

 

How Does HIIT Compare To Other Training Methods?

Scientific literature suggests that HIIT is much more effective than regular cardio for accomplishing both of the goals stated earlier. The reason that High Intensity Interval Training works better [than normal cardio] for fat loss is this:

When you do a cardio session at the same pace the whole time, your body goes into what is called steady state. This means that your body has adjusted itself to the speed you are going and tries hard to conserve energy (calories). You will be able to avoid this and burn more calories and fat by doing the interval training.

The best way to get started with HIIT would be to keep things simple and progress from there. Keeping in mind that these workouts will require some time to recover from, they are best performed at a frequency of about 3 times per week on non-weight-lifting days.  

A couple of sample programs are listed below, one for the beginner and one for the more advanced athlete (there are plenty of other similar programs but to keep things simple, this is a good start).

 

Beginner's Layout

  • Minutes 1-4 (Warm-Up)
    Jog at about 50% effort
  • Minute 5 (Workout Interval 1)
    Sprint 30 seconds at maximum effort Jog/Walk 30 seconds
  • Minute 6 (Workout Interval 2)
    Sprint 30 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 30 seconds
  • Minute 7 (Workout Interval 3)
    Sprint 30 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 30 seconds
  • Minute 8 (Workout Interval 4)
    Sprint 30 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 30 seconds
  • Minutes 9-12 (Cool-Down)
    Jog at about 50% effort

After every two workout sessions, one can increase the number of "workout" intervals they do each time up until about 10 total "workout" intervals. This will allow for a steady progression of fitness levels, and help one realize the full potential and results of interval training. 

Advanced HIIT Layout

  • Minutes 1-4 (Warm-Up)
    Jog at about 50% effort
  • Minute 5 First-Half (Workout Interval 1)
    Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 10 seconds
  • Minute 5 Last-Half (Workout Interval 2)
    Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 10 seconds
  • Minute 6 First-Half (Workout Interval 3)
    Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 10 seconds
  • Minute 6 Last-Half (Workout Interval 4)
    Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 10 seconds
  • Minute 7 First-Half (Workout Interval 5)
    Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 10 seconds
  • Minute 7 Last-Half (Workout Interval 6)
    Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 10 seconds
  • Minute 8 First-Half (Workout Interval 7)
    Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 10 seconds
  • Minute 8 Last-Half (Workout Interval 8)
    Sprint 20 seconds at maximum effort
    Jog/Walk 10 seconds
  • Minutes 9-12 (Cool-Down)
    Jog at about 50% effort
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

Join Vision Personal Training North Sydney

North Sydney Studio Articles

Balance

Balance*

Weight Loss

Vitamin D

Vitamin D*

Weight Loss

Mental Training

Mental Training*

Weight Loss

Protein 101

Protein 101*

Weight Loss

Portion Control

Portion Control*

Weight Loss

Managing Stress

Managing Stress*

Weight Loss

North Sydney Studio Testimonials

20 kg Weight Loss-before20 kg Weight Loss-after

Luke Mitchell

20 kg Weight Loss*

20kg Weight Loss-before20kg Weight Loss-after

Diane Joester

20kg Weight Loss*

19kg Weight Loss-before19kg Weight Loss-after

Tony DiMauro

19kg Weight Loss*

20 kg Weight Loss-before20 kg Weight Loss-after

Peter Lilley

20 kg Weight Loss*


*Individual results vary based on agreed goals

Connect With Us

Transform Your Life

with a Vision Personal Trainer



Thank you for your enquiry.


A studio representative will get back to you as soon as possible.