High-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, can come across as a bit intimidating. Just hearing the words high-intensity has the power to create a negative impression of the workout, right? Well, try not to let the name scare you away, as HIIT is an extremely effective type of workout. For example, research is showing that just 30 minutes of HIIT can be just as, if not more, effective than 60 minutes of steady state cardio, wow! HIIT, think of it as working smarter, not harder.
Understanding High-Intensity Interval Training
Simply put HIIT is a type of workout in which you will experience intervals. The high-intensity intervals will be short, normally ranging from under a minute to 3-4 minutes. You will then experience either a rest or a very low-intensity interval, this is your recovery. This greatly helps to break up an intense workout as it is all about the mind games we play. Would you rather push yourself incredibly hard for 45 seconds or push yourself moderately for 10+ minutes? The short bursts of intensity will make your workout fly by.
HIIT can be performed on a wide range of machines at the gym including; the treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, or even when running or biking outdoors. Not only can HIIT workouts be performed at the gym or in group fitness classes, but you can do them right from your living room!
Does it Work?
HIIT is a type of workout that can scorch a ton of calories in a short amount of time and can help improve your overall fitness levels. However, it is important to know that this is not the only type of workout out there. Do your homework before starting any new workout plan and if HIIT isn’t right for you there are tons of other plans out there. Always consult a physician before starting a new fitness regimen.
There are countless studies out there that have shown the effectiveness of HIIT and other training programs, some to check out include:
- High-Intensity Interval Training has Great Gains — and Pain
- Ace-Sponsored Research: HIIT vs. Steady-State Training
- HIIT vs Continuous Endurance Training: Battle of the Aerobic Titans