HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and I had heard it was ‘the only way’ to get the most out of a short work-out.. but what does it consist of? And why is it worth doing?!
Here is what PT Mollie had to say on the matter..
- WHAT EXACTLY IS HIIT?
Everyone is short on time. Between work, family, commuting, emailing, tweeting and eating, we fill our days up quickly. Health and fitness unfortunately ends up being a low priority, making people looking for the secret to getting fit with minimal time and effort. So, how can we get the most out of our limited time for exercise?
First, let me remind you that it is called a WORKOUT because it is work. You will sweat and get out of breath. But working with a trainer you can make your workouts more effective. A new trend in the fitness field is being labelled “high intensity interval training” (or HIIT). HIIT is made up of repetitive sessions that alternate between periods of sub-maximal (just under the most your body can physically do) all-out effort and periods of recovery at low-intensity.
Intervals are a long-standing fitness tool which help to increase your heart and lung strength, as well as improve your aerobic fitness. Intervals also are functional, meaning that in every day life you may be required to work at a sub-maximal rate for a short amount of time (such as walking up a set of stairs or running for the bus). If you are training for a particular sport, intervals will develop your fast twitch muscle fibers for short distances.
- WHEN IS HITT USEFUL?
HIIT can be used in several sports activities such as running, skating, swimming, or cycling. It is important to warm up at the beginning of the session, which will usually last less than 15 minutes depending on your training objectives. There is no set pattern for intervals of effort and recovery length. Working with a trained professional to identify your fitness goals and how to reach them is advised. HIIT is used by elite athletes as well as non-athletes who want to be stronger and healthier. A study in the British Journal Sports Medicine found that sprint interval training was as effective as endurance training (longer sessions at low intensity) but only required 90% of the training time. Another benefit of HIIT is improved cardiovascular risk factors which may help you avoid coronary heart disease. Both elite athletes and novice exercisers can benefit from interval training.
I want to say a massive thank you to Mollie for this interview and would encourage those who are on twitter to follow her too @PtMollie.