HIIT Bootcamps, a workout revolution
By Neil Perkins
HIT or HIIT (High Intensity Training or High Intensity Interval Training) has proved to be a workout revolution in bootcamps and group exercise classes. You don’t need to slave for hours in the gym to get your desired results. Two to three short and intense HIIT sessions are ideal to reduce body fat, improve fitness and keep you healthy. With the increasing workload of the city centre professional, these short sessions in a morning, lunchtime or after work are not interfering with home or work life and providing a welcome endorphin release and your weekly dose of exercise to ensure you gain and maintain a physique that you can be proud of.
What is HIIT?
HIT is High Intensity Interval Training, it consists of short bursts of high intensity training with minimal rest. This has been popularly attached to high intensity ‘sprint’ cardio work but by using body weight and functional training equipment combined with a little bit of knowledge on tactical conditioning HIIT can be a ‘Hit’ when it comes to bootcamps or group exercise.
Tactical conditioning is something a good Strength & Conditioning coach (not Personal Trainer) will use when designing programmes. If you alternate big compound movements between either the posterior and anterior chain or upper and lower body you get a great blood shunt. This is much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is higher and you can increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat than ever before.
HIIT has been shown 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.
When you apply this to big movements such as wall balls and heavy kettlebell swings you will promote lean muscle growth and growth hormone. Growth hormone will promote fat loss and lean muscle enables you to burn more calories at rest.
- You should never perform HIIT more than three times per week – it’s too intense. Combing HIT with sport works as you get a great anaerobic conditioning that translates to improved performance. Also, performing HIIT an alternate day with weight training further promotes lean muscle mass, that further promotes fat loss, that will transform your physique.
- HIIT on an empty stomach or first thing. Pre-exercise nutrition and the effects of fasted exercise vary from person to person. But with some much of HIIT based on working your anaerobic system that relies on carbohydrates, I’d be reluctant to perform HIIT on an empty stomach.
- Go Hard or Go Home. Forget light kettlebell swings, bicep curls and low intensity. This is HIGH INTENSITY. You need to be hitting big compound movements and recruiting muscle fibre. You should not be able to talk when performing HIIT, you should be gasping for air.
- HIIT for high blood pressure or heart problems. Heart Problem + High Intensity Blood Shunt = member passed out on gym floor. There is a difference between been diagnosed with a heart condition and feeling de-conditioned. Beginners can be catered for.