Tag high intensity interval training

HIIT Success Tips

Hit the ground running with these HIIT success tips.

HIIT Success Tip #1 – Start Slowly

If you’ve never worked out at a high intensity before, then take it slowly.  You can either lengthen the rest time between intervals or you can begin with only one HIIT workout per week. As your fitness improves, you can decrease the rest time.

HIIT Success Tip #2 – Pay Attention to Your Body

In general, experts recommend around three HIIT workouts per week. Consider taking a “three days on two days off” approach. This approach allows you to rest just about the time that delayed onset muscle soreness kicks in.

If you notice that you’re not recovering quickly and muscle soreness has you struggling to get out of bed or in significant pain, cut back on the HIIT workouts. Also realize that some weeks are just better than others. You might have a week where you’re on fire and having great workouts with little soreness.

The next week you may be able to barely finish your second workout. This is a sign from your body to ease up. Pay attention to it. HIIT won’t do you any good if you’re injured, and pushing too hard or too fast can absolutely result in injury.

HIIT Success Tip #3 – Know What to Expect and Be Prepared

HIIT will leave you breathless and flat on your back on the floor. You’ll sweat, a lot. You may feel like you just can’t continue. This is why a heart rate monitor is a good idea. It’ll let you know if you’re in the zone.

If your heart rate is over your maximum heart rate or creeping close, you know to pull back a bit. Conversely, if you’re only at 50% of your max then you know you’re capable of more.

HIIT Success Tip #4 – Mix it Up

Interval training can become boring. If you’re doing the same workout every single time, you’ll lose motivation. With a loss of motivation comes a loss of intensity. To stay engaged and enthusiastic, keep your HIIT program varied. You might look to a personal trainer or a cross fit blog to provide workout ideas.

HIIT Success Tip #5 – Measure the Results

It can be difficult to know just how much you’re gaining from HIIT. Consider not only taking a before and after photograph, but also track your fitness improvements.

Did you run a 200 in the fastest time yet? Did you manage to achieve 100 squats in your squat Tabata? By tracking your workouts and your results, you’ll be able to watch your fitness improve and the weight come off.

HIIT Success Tip #6 – Listen to Music

Intense intervals are exhausting. You may need all of the encouragement you can get. Motivating music is often effective to not only make you feel more energized, it also tends to distract just enough that you’re not focused solely on the discomfort you’re feeling.

HIIT Success Tip #7 – Workout with a Friend

Finally, consider starting a HIIT workout with a friend. You can keep an eye on each other’s form, compete with each other, and help one another say motivated.

High Intensity Interval Training Can Get You over a Fitness Plateau

High Intensity Interval Training is a proven way to improve both your anaerobic and aerobic fueling systems. If you’re looking to overcome a fitness plateau and want to achieve a new personal record HIIT can be the single most important change to your existing program. You’ll burn more fat, lose weight quickly, and improve your fitness; and you’ll accomplish all of this while spending less time working out. How cool is that?

High Intensity Interval Training

High intensity interval training gets more popular.

There are many different approaches to fitness, weight loss, and exercise. As science progresses and more research studies are conducted, new strategies surface. Additionally, as more people become active and start a fitness program, awareness for different techniques and approaches grows.

Introducing High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT

One such approach is called High Intensity Interval Training “HIIT”. It’s a type of training that was actually pioneered by different people at different times. The training that you see today is an adaptation and combination of the initial approaches.

HIIT is an advanced form of interval training. Interval training consists of putting in a moderate effort for a specific period of time and then cranking it up. For example, interval training for a runner might include running at an 11-minute mile pace for five minutes, followed by 8-minute mile pace for one minute. You’d alternate this intensity level for a few cycles.

HIIT is Like Interval Training on Steroids

There’s no steroid use here but HIIT takes it up a notch and truly increases the intensity. With this type of exercise the athlete puts forth a period of high intensity effort followed by a short rest followed by another period of high intensity. One of the most notable HIIT formats is called the Tabata. It is 20 seconds of intense effort followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated for 8 cycles, or four minutes total.

The Tabata workout can be applied to a number of different exercises. For example, you can squat as many times as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat. You can do pushups, pull-ups, or sit-ups.

You can jump rope or sprint. You can ride your spin bike, row on the rowing machine, or do burpees or lunges. Try the Tabata workout with your favorite movement and experience just what intensity really means.

Another example of HIIT for a runner might be a series of 200-meter sprints followed by 30 second rests. You might sprint on your bicycle for a quarter mile and then slow down to a casual pace to recover. You can apply HIIT to any cardio or strength fitness exercise.

There are numerous considerations before starting a fitness plan that includes HIIT.

Pros and Cons of High Intensity Interval Training

The pros of HIIT are numerous, so we’ll take an in depth look at the research in the first chapter. For now, it’s important to know that HIIT results are astounding.

  • Fast weight loss
  • Less workout time
  • Improved strength
  • Improved endurance
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Better fat burning
  • Decreased abdominal fat
  • Decreased insulin resistance
  • Reduced risk for cardiovascular disease

So the pros look pretty strong, right? They are. You can truly burn significantly more fat and calories in less time. It means that if you don’t have the time to run for an hour a day but you want the same, or better, results, then HIIT may be right for you.
The Potential Risks of HIIT

With every fitness program and workout, there are risks. The same is true for High Intensity Interval Training. The very nature of the workout means it may not be right for people who have a high risk of a cardiovascular episode. Meaning that if you’ve had a heart attack or are at a high risk for having one, please talk to your doctor before beginning a program like this.

If you are older or have other health complications, it’s also important to talk to your doctor. In most cases you can embrace a HIIT program as long as you do it under supervision. It’s also critically important to pay attention to your body and to fuel it well. We’ll talk more about proper self-care for HIIT later.

So Who’s High Intensity Interval Training Right For?

HIIT is right for you if you:

  • Want to lose weight quickly
  • Have hit a fitness plateau and want to see improvements
  • Have hit a weight loss plateau
  • Enjoy intense workouts
  • Are looking for a new and exciting fitness program
  • Want to get rid of those “problem areas”
  • Are pre-diabetic and want to increase your body’s insulin sensitivity

These are just a few reasons to try HIIT. Let’s move forward and take a look at some of that research mentioned earlier. Understanding “Why and How HIIT Works” will help you create a strong fitness program for yourself.