HIIT Training – Maximal Results, Minimal Time.
By Neil Perkins
You may have heard of HIIT? With social media awash with ‘fitness gurus’ and the internet full of conflicting information you might be thinking what is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training – great your thinking so What Does That Mean?
HIIT training typically utilises short bursts of intense exercise followed by minimal rest that is repeated again. This is the principal of Interval Training.
Lots of bootcamps, personal trainers and classes are based on this principal and the high intensity nature means it is great for burning huge amounts of calories in a short period of time. Now this surely appeals? HIIT training can be applied with weight training, cardio and is equally popular as a kettlebell workout. Bootcamps tend to adopt this tactic for ‘maximal results in minimal time’ If you are restricted to training two to three times per week and exercising on a time restriction, then HIIT is a great way to go.
The work to rest interval used can vary but typically a Tabata protocol is most popular. Tabata is based on 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest, performed over a 4 minute rounds (8 intervals) there are varieties of this interval that last longer. Tabata training is commonly performed with two exercises where you alternate between two exercises performing 4 ‘intervals of each, this is a common practice of Tabata HIIT and can be applied to bootcamp sessions. HIIT is a popular method for cardio and the Tabata principal is again a popular choice, this time you’d work intensely for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest. I am aware that Assault Bikes and many other pieces of cardio kit now have a Tabata HIIT programme installed.
When selecting the exercise to train with HIIT you should be looking for big compound movements and/or explosive movements – you are not performing HIIT with bicep curls. Look for Kettlebell Swings, Box Jumps, Burpees, Clap Press Ups, Medicine Ball Slams, Wall Ball or Thrusters. The scientist becomes the sicko if you know how to pair exercises or choreograph exercises in sequence. HIIT is more brutal if you make exercises alternate between upper and lower body, anterior and posterior chain or with pushing and pulling movements. Particular favourable pairs are…Wall Balls to Burpees and Kettlebell Swings to Box Jumps.
If you are restricted to exercising two to three times per week and also restricted to low workout time, then HIIT is a great choice. Our bootcamps run to this format and with the right exercise selection HIIT provides an engaging and effective workout. Pound for pound it’s one of the best workouts going.
Isn’t it time you tried HIIT?