There are many different styles of training, and I enjoy using a variety into my workouts to enhance performance and challenge my body. When I find myself getting into a comfortable routine, I like to incorporate HIIT to shake things up. I add one to two HIIT days into my weekly routine along side my weights and cardio routine. A couple exercise I like to use within my weight routine are mountain climbers, box jumps and sprint intervals on the treadmill. Integrating HIIT into workouts has a lot of benefits and is a good way to challenge yourself. HIIT, what does this even mean?
HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and incorporating this into workouts is on the rise. HIIT involves repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times. You would perform intense work periods that range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long, and are performed at 80% to 95% of your maximal heart rate (220-age). Recovery times may last equally as long and are usually performed at 40% to 50% of your max heart rate. The workout continues with the alternating high and low periods for 20 to 60 minutes.
What are the benefits of HIIT?
HIIT has been shown to improve:
- aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- blood pressure
- cardiovascular health
- insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy)
- cholesterol profiles
- abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass.
- (research provided by: ACSM Len Kravitz, Ph.D.)
How often should I incorporate HIIT into my weekly routine?
High intensity interval training is more taxing on the body than an endurance workout, so it is recommended to have a longer rest period, therefore if you are new to HIIT add in one time per week and gradually increase intensity. Once your body has adapted and is recovering properly, add a second day in the mix of your workouts.