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Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT HUB RAK

By Nailah Aljasmi | 28 September 2019 

Maybe you’ve heard the hype about high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts and how they improve your cardiovascular fitness while helping you build lean muscle and burn fat. Guess what? It’s not hype! HIIT workouts work! 

If we are going to change our attitude to physical activity then it needs to become a natural and important part of our lives, not something else for us to find the time to do. 

HIIT Training in HIIT Hub RAK

Unless we have a physically demanding job, a dedicated fitness routine is likely our best bet for getting active. 

Some people may prefer to participate in more regular and structured forms of physical activity such as going out for a run or playing sport and these are, of course, great ways to enhance wellbeing and mental health. (1.)

Unfortunately, many people feel that they don’t have enough time to exercise (2.)

If this sounds like you, maybe it’s time to try high-intensity interval training(HIIT). 


What Is High-Intensity Interval Training? 

HIIT is a type of workout that pairs high-intensity exercise intervals with low- to moderate-intensity recovery phases. 

Typically, a HIIT workout will range from 10 to 30 minutes in duration. 

Growing research suggests that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a time-efficient exercise strategy to improve cardiorespiratory and metabolic health. (3.)

HIIT Hub Ras Al Khaimah Air Bike

For example, a HIIT workout using a stationary exercise bike could consist of 30 seconds of cycling as fast as possible against high resistance, followed by several minutes of slow, easy cycling with low resistance.

This would be considered one “round” or “repetition” of HIIT, and you would typically complete 4 to 6 repetitions in one workout. (4.)

You can do intervals during any type of exercise — walking, running, cycling, swimming, or even while doing callisthenics, such as jumping jackspush-ups, or squats. (4.)

This would be considered one “round” or “repetition” of HIIT, and you would typically complete 4 to 6 repetitions in one workout. (5.)


How does HIIT Training work?

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of workout where you give maximum effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. HIIT workouts train and condition both your aerobic activity and anaerobic energy systems. This kind of exercise gets your heart rate up and improves your cardiovascular fitness level while burning more fat and calories in less time.

Benefits of HIIT include:

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Build lean muscle and lose fat
  • Retain muscle
  • Condition anaerobic and aerobic energy
  • Easy to do anywhere, no equipment required
  • Burn more calories while at rest
  • Increase metabolism and endurance
  • Quick workout – 30 minutes or less

What Has Research Has Proven With HIIT Training? 

Studies have shown that HIIT can help you lose fat.  

Lead to improvements in measures of cardiorespiratory fitness (6.)

In a 2017 study carried out on overweight or obese participants aged 18-45 years. Direct measures (e.g. whole-body fat mass) and indirect measures (e.g. waist circumference) were examined. Studies averaged 10 weeks × 3 sessions per week training. HIIT elicited significant reductions in whole-body fat mass and waist circumference. 

The results concluded that short-term moderate-intensity to high-intensity exercise training can induce modest body composition improvements in overweight and obese individuals without accompanying body-weight changes. (7.)

The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a review of 36 studies that compared interval training with moderate-intensity exercise in different groups of people, including those who were overweight or previously inactive. While people lost weight and body fat from both types of exercise, those who did interval training lost nearly 29% more fat than those who did moderate exercise. (8.)

A longtime distance runner, Dr Wiviott started doing HIIT workouts at his local CrossFit gym about a year ago. Even though he was exercising for shorter periods of time, he lost body fat and felt better. (9.)

As a time-efficient training program, HIIT plays an important role in youth athletic development, providing more time for the enhancement of other important skills, such as coordinative skills, technique, tactics, speed, power, strength and many more. (10.)


How to Get Started With HIIT

If you are new to HIIT, watch your heart rate, stop when you need to, and don’t do the plyometrics (or jumping movements) just yet. Ideally, you should be able to exercise for 20 minutes without any issues before trying a HIIT workout. You don’t want to overdo it. 

So, you’re ready to try a group fitness HIIT class, check and see if your local gym offers HIIT workouts. If you want to get familiar with HIIT before joining a class, or if you want the ease of doing HIIT workouts at home, below there are some examples and videos to demonstrate a typical HIIT training session for fat-lossendurance and how to gain lean muscle.

Make sure you check with your physician before trying any rigorous exercise program.


HIIT Workout for Fat-Loss

You can always follow a 7-day schedule:

  • Monday – Full-body weight training
  • Tuesday – HIIT workout: 30 sec. active rest (walk or jog), 30 sec. work/sprint, repeat 7 more times (8 rounds total)
  • Wednesday – Full-body weight training
  • Thursday – HIIT workout: 30 sec. active rest (walk or jog), 30 sec. work/sprint, repeat 7 more times (8 rounds total)
  • Friday – Full-body weight training
  • Saturday and Sunday – Rest

Over the course of eight weeks, add one round per week to your HIIT workouts, gradually working up from 8 total rounds to 15.


HIIT Workout for Muscle Gain

  • Monday – Upper-body weight training
  • Tuesday – Lower-body weight training
  • Wednesday – HIIT workout: 30 sec. active rest (walk or jog), 30 sec. work/sprint, repeat 4 more times (5 rounds total)
  • Thursday – Upper-body weight training
  • Friday – Lower-body weight training
  • Saturday and Sunday – Rest

Add one round every two weeks, increase the number of repeats in your HIIT workouts from 6 to 10 by Week 8.


HIIT Workout for Improving Aerobic and Anaerobic Endurance

  • Monday – Full-body weight training
  • Tuesday – HIIT workout: 30 sec. active rest (walk or jog), 30 sec. work/sprint, repeat 7 more times (8 rounds total)
  • Wednesday – Full-body weight training
  • Thursday – HIIT workout: 30 sec. active rest (walk or jog), 30 sec. work/sprint, repeat 7 more times (8 rounds total)
  • Friday – Full-body weight training
  • Saturday – HIIT workout: 30 sec. active rest (walk or jog), 30 sec. work/sprint, repeat 7 more times (8 rounds total)
  • Sunday – Rest

HIIT: A Go-To Solution for Lack of Time

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About the Author: Nailah Aljasmi

Marketing & Advertising Manager | Health and Wellbeing Educator | Nutrition Health Advocate