As you get going with your workout program, if there’s one form of cardio training that you absolutely must be doing, it’s high intensity interval training, often referred to as HIIT.
What is HIIT and what makes it so effective? Let’s have a quick look at the facts so that you can get the vital information you need to know about this exercise approach.
What Is HIIT?
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a form of physical workout that alternates all-out bursts of activity performed at a maximal pace with active rest periods at a much lower intensity level.
The HIIT intervals that you choose to use will depend on your goals, personal preferences and fitness capabilities, with intervals usually lasting between 30 and 60 seconds in length.
After each interval, you’ll then perform a rest period for recovery of the same length or up to twice as long before repeating the process again.
Six to ten intervals are typically performed per workout session, starting with a warm-up and ending with a cool-down.
The Benefits of HIIT
You can expect a number of benefits from including HIIT in your workout regime. Here are three major ones:
First, HIIT earns top marks for boosting metabolic rate. After an intense session such as this, you’re going to continue to burn up calories for hours after you’ve finished.
Second, HIIT is going to dramatically boost your overall fitness level, increasing your anaerobic capacity and enhancing your ability to tolerate fatigue. It will also help increase your sprint and power capabilities, two key components of a well-balanced fitness plan.
Third, HIIT is fast. You’ll be able to get in and out of the gym in less than 30 minutes when doing this type of workout program. That sure beats the 45-60 minutes that most people typically spend doing steady state cardio sessions.
How to Include HIIT in Your Workout Program
Since HIIT is more intense than other cardio workouts, you’ll need to watch your frequency. Too much of it and you may start to overtrain, risking injury and getting diminished results.
Start with just two HIIT workouts per week combined with your strength building sessions. Then, increase that to three a week when you feel ready for more.
Due to the high effectiveness of HIIT, you should never need more than three sessions in your workout plan to see superior results.
Also remember to look after your pre- and post-workout nutrition to ensure maximum recovery from each workout. That way, you’ll be ready to go for the next session when it comes around.
If you are not yet doing HIIT, now is the time to start. This form of workout simply has too much to offer for you to miss out.
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