HIIT – or High Intensity Interval Training – is a training method in which intervals of 100 per cent effort are interspersed with more moderate recovery periods. It can be applied to both cardio and weight bearing exercises.
For example, periods of sprinting as fast as you can followed by walking. Or in the case of weight bearing exercises, doing burpees as fast as you can and then resting for a few seconds between sets.
Why is HIIT so effective?
This style of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
“When we do steady state cardio, our heart rate returns back to normal fairly quickly after a workout,” Personal trainer Tracey Robson-Garth says. “But when we do HIIT, we confuse our heart rate, and it takes much longer to return back to its normal resting rate. This increases your kilojoule burn for hours after your workout.”
The best part? It’s quick and convenient. Because of its effect on heart rate, a 15-minute HIIT workout will give you the same fat-burning benefits as a regular half-hour steady-state cardio workout.
How can I incorporate HIIT into my workouts?
True HIIT involves going flat out, as fast as you can for 20 seconds, then pulling back for a period of 10 seconds at a recovery pace.
At the gym, it’s best to use a bike, rower or cross trainer, as treadmills take too long for the speed to adjust. Try incorporating our HIIT exercise bike workout into your routine the next time you’re a the gym… it’s deceptively difficult!
HIIT workout on an exercise bike:
- 3 minute warm-up at a moderate pace
- (20 seconds maximum effort + 10 seconds recovery) x 8
- 3 minutes cool down
Total: 10 minutes