What is High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training is a specific type of interval training routine. It is mostly used for individuals trying to lose weight. It has a number of distinct goals and differences which make it unique.
HIIT Sessions usually last less than 20 Minutes
The first difference is in time, excluding warm ups and warm downs last no longer than 20 minutes. This may seem like a very short space of time but believe me; if you do the workout correctly you will be exhausted by the end of it. The goal of HIIT is to hold an anaerobic state for a long cumulative time (click here to see what this means.). Its designed with rest intervals to allow you to sprint harder for longer. Take this as an example, if you were to sprint for 100 meters, you would go full out for about 15 seconds (depending how fast you were). In an advanced HIIT workout you would probably spend about 7 to 8 minutes going full out in a 15 minute workout. If you are a beginner you should start with 4 to 6 minutes total workout time.
For Maximum Benefits make sure you are using Major Muscle Groups
There are a range of activities that you can do with HIIT. When choosing an activity try to pick one that safely uses the largest muscle groups in your body. High Intensity Interval Training will try and tap the energy sources found inside the muscle. The larger the muscle group being exercised, the more the benefit.
The absolute best for HIIT is sprinting. If however you have injuries or other problems which prevent you from sprinting by all means pick something else which you can manage safely. The second best would probably be a stationery spinning bike.
Do HIIT every Second Day
An HIIT workout should not be done on consecutive days. The workouts goal is to operate at a high intensity. So when you do your reps, you do them as hard as you can. Working as hard as this produces the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training. The workout burns energy from your muscle systems and it needs time to replenish it. If this doesnt happen you will not be able to workout with as much intensity and you have much greater chance of injuring yourself. The benefits happen in your body during your rest period and the more rested you are, the more intensity you can put into your workout.
Obliterate your Fat when you combine Good Nutrition and HIIT
A lot of people including yours truly believed that if you wanted to maximise weight loss it was best to do HIIT on an empty stomach. Recent research is showing that this just isn't so and in fact the opposite is true. Make sure you have had something to eat about half an hour before you exercise, make sure it something balanced and easily digestible, you don't want something heavy while you are exercising.
Alternate Your Interval Training RoutinesOne of the key principles around High Intensity Interval Training is preventing any type of plateau. Its designed around pushing your body to constantly adapt, and as your body is always trying to please, it invariably does. When this happens your improvements slow down.
To counter this, always keep your body guessing, after you have done about 8 weeks on a particular HIIT program, give yourself one week off then start a new one.
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Tabata Interval Question
When doing Tabata intervals is it important to maintain the same weight throughout the entire exercise or is decreasing the weight okay to maintain speed?