If you want to make the most out of every minute that you spend at the gym, then high intensity interval training, or HIIT, might be exactly what you are looking for. This is one of the top trends in the fitness world at the moment, and for good reason. With high intensity interval training it is possible to maximize the amount of calories that you can burn in a standard workout by really pushing your body to its limit. While the HIIT may not be right for everyone, it is certainly something that is worth a try—especially if you are looking for a way to bring your workout to the next level.
What is High Intensity Interval Training?
Maybe you remember interval training from your grade school gym class? With interval training, everyone takes a turn at a particular task. The model generally includes a short period of rest in between a standard set of repetitions. You do the task, you take a break, and then you do the task again. The problem with this sort of interval training is that you are constantly shifting from active to passive, and the active tasks that you are completing may not be as intense as they could be if you weren’t taking a break in between every set.
High intensity interval training eliminates the downtime by interspersing highly intense work intervals with active rest intervals. The rest interval is not a true rest period. Instead of dropping down to nothing, as many people do while rotating sets with a workout partner, for example, high intensity interval training trades off between super intense intervals with less intense, but still very active intervals.
But the biggest difference when it comes to HIIT is the intensity of the interval. For this type of workout to work for you there is no holding back. You go all out. Hit the ground then bounce back up. Twice. Then do it again. You push yourself to your limit and then you try to go one more. Intensity is key, and hard work is an absolute must.
What do these intervals include? During the active intervals you will do tasks like:
- Running up and down stairs
- Rope exercises
- Push ups
Typically, high intensity interval training is reserved for functional strength exercises. These are the types of exercises that encourage muscle development and cardiovascular support simultaneously by pushing your body to engage in motions that you do regularly. Weight lifting exercises are not typically recommended for high intensity interval training, as attempting to lift too much weight too quickly can easily lead to injury.
In between the high intensity periods, you may engage in an activity like walking, light jogging, or stretching before jumping back into another high intensity interval.
Following this sort of intensity model allows you to maximize the type of results that you can see out of your workout. It makes sense, after all. If you are pushing yourself harder than you ever have before for the duration of your workout, then you are probably going to see better results than you ever have before. This is especially true if you are combining the HIIT with a healthy diet.
High intensity interval training is a great workout model for anyone who is looking to push their athleticism to the next level. However, if you have pain holding you back, then you need to address those underlying problems before attempting to push yourself any further. If you are dealing with daily pain, give NRG Athletes Therapy Fitness a call to find out how we can help you get back to performing your best.