What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of cardiovascular exercise where you become hypoxic (deprives your body of oxygen) which makes your metabolism stay elevated throughout your day. Because of this, you are still burning calories after you leave the gym.
How to do HIIT
A simple way to do this is through a program called Tabata. You can easily time yourself or invest in a smartphone application. Each set consists of four minutes total.
- Give all-out, one hundred percent effort for 20 seconds
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Complete 8 rounds
You can do this on your favorite (or readily available) piece of equipment like a treadmill, Versa Climber, Peleton bike, rowing machine or elliptical. Even burpees, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, push-ups or a combination of them works. Build up to doing 3-4 sets.
Another great way is to combine this with your strength training workouts. For example, complete a round of Tabata then one set of strength training, repeat two more times. The best of both worlds!
Types of HIIT Classes
HIIT classes are also a fun way to exercise in a social setting. Many classes, like Barry’s Bootcamp, Shred 415 and Orange Theory (to name a few) focus on HIIT training. In fact, celebrities like Jessica Beal, Katie Holmes and Kim Kardashian (among others) have been known to frequent Barry’s Bootcamp. I’ve noticed that many fitness studios are currently offering virtual classes due to COVID-19. These full-body classes are extremely challenging, but allow you to build up stamina at your own pace.
For instance, if you haven’t worked out in ages, running at 10 mph on a treadmill your first time out might not be the wisest choice for you. This could easily lead to injury or getting burnt out. Instead, start at a pace that is more comfortable but still challenging. After all, you are not competing with your neighbor just yourself. A good rule of thumb is you should have difficulty chatting with your workout buddy or singing your tunes solo.
HIIT is a terrific way to get the most bang for your buck. You can easily get a great workout in using this method in a half-hour or less.