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HIIT: A Beginner's Guide

October 31, 2022 3 min read

HIIT: A Beginner's Guide

What is HIIT?


HIIT stands for, high-intensity interval training, this is a form of cardiovascular exercise which is very good for the mind and body. It’s been a while since HIIT training stormed onto the fitness scene and it began its takeover of the cardio universe.


Compared to the traditional gym workouts where you might just do one day of weight training and the other day just cardio for example. HIIT can be adjusted to how you want to work out. You can use a mixture of weights, cardio and bodyweight exercises which are ideal for people who want to experiment with new ideas and workouts.


What are the benefits of HIIT workout?


HIIT is great for people who don’t have a lot of time free in the day to dedicate 1 hour or more to working out. Your typical HIIT workout can be between 10-40 minutes, which is why it’s attractive to people who want to stay active but don’t have hours and hours to spend in the gym. HIIT workouts are in no way time-consuming which is ideal for people who live a fast-paced life.


Many people go to the gym and spend between 40 minutes to an hour on cardio machines like the cross trainer, treadmill and stair master, which is great for you, and everyone should do some form of cardio to stay fit and healthy but statistics show that a HIIT workout that includes a mixture of strength training and cardio much more effective at burning calories and building muscle, helping you towards your fitness goals quicker.


Statistics show you can burn around 500 calories in just 30 minutes of doing a HIIT workout.

Benefits such as burning high amounts of calories, aiding in fat burning, increasing muscle mass and increasing your metabolic heart rate are just a few of the benefits of this style of working out.


What activities are involved in a HIIT workout?


When you start a HIIT workout either at home or the gym the best way to start is by warming up. This can be 30-45 seconds of each exercise such as jogging on the spot, bodyweight squats, reverse lunges, push-ups, bicep curls - whatever you like to do. A nice warm-up to get the heart rate moving, blood pumping and warms your body up nicely for the main workout.


If you’re working out at the gym, many people tend to warm up for a couple of minutes on the bike with a steady cycle, after which, the HIIT workout begins. With intervals of 45 seconds of very hard cycling on high resistance and utilizing around 90% of your effort for that short burst. This is then slowly followed by a 90-second recovery cycling much more slowly on very little resistance to get your energy back getting ready for the next 45 seconds of hard intense cycling. You go on to repeat this for as many cycles as you can muster and then introduce a cool-down period. Your cool-down period can be cycling on zero resistance at a nice slow and steady pace and finishing off with some stretching.


If you plan to do your HIIT workout at home instead of the gym you can do exercises such as squats and lunges, push-ups, forward lunges, jump-outs and the plank and in between each excursive, you can jog on the spot. This is a benefit to HIIT workouts as they are very flexible no matter what equipment is available to you.


Typically, a HIIT workout will last anywhere between 10-40 mins, making it perfect for people who want to get fit but don’t have a lot of time. Often people who work an office job and aren’t that active in their work hours tend to use their lunch break to get in shape via a quick HIIT workout because it can be done in such a short period but is proven to be more effective than traditional forms of long cardio.


Some of the calories burned from high-intensity intervals come from a higher metabolism, which lasts for hours after a HIIT workout, which is another benefit to this style of working out.


HIIT isn't a fad, it's sticking around for the foreseeable, so get involved, get yourself a self of dumbbells and start doing some cardio and weight training HIITs at home!

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