What is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It is a type of cardiovascular workout that involves brief periods of intense exercise, followed by periods of rest or active recovery.

HIIT workouts are known for their efficiency, as they can be completed in a short amount of time and provide a significant cardiovascular workout. The intense periods of exercise can be tailored to individual fitness levels, making HIIT workouts accessible to people of all fitness levels.

What is the History of the HIIT Workout?

The concept of interval training dates back to the 1930s when German coach Woldemar Gerschler and cardiologist Herbert Reindell developed a training model performed at alternating low and high intensities. The higher-intensity periods were meant to improve cardiovascular health and athletic performance.

In the 1950s, sprint interval training was introduced as a higher-intensity form of interval training, which reached 100% maximum heart rate and was used to improve the performance of elite Olympic athletes.

The term “high-intensity interval training” (HIIT) was coined in the 1990s by Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata and his colleagues at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo.

Tabata was studying the effects of high-intensity exercise on the body and developed a specific protocol that involved 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for a total of four minutes. The protocol was first used with Olympic speedskaters, and later gained popularity in the fitness world.

HIIT workouts can take many forms, including running, cycling, or using cardio equipment. Workouts can be as short as 10 minutes or as long as 30 minutes, and they can be completed using only bodyweight exercises or incorporate weights for added resistance.

HIIT Workouts: What are They And Workout Examples

The goal of HIIT workouts is to maximize the benefits of exercise in a shorter amount of time by alternating between periods of high-intensity exercise and periods of rest or low-intensity exercise.

The high-intensity periods are typically performed at or near maximal effort and can range from 10 seconds to several minutes in length, while the rest periods are designed to allow the body to recover before the next high-intensity interval.

Also the aim of HIIT workouts is to push the body to its maximum capacity during the intense periods of exercise, which leads to increased calorie burning and improved cardiovascular fitness.

Here are some examples of HIIT workouts:

  1. Tabata: This workout consists of 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 8 rounds. This can be done with exercises such as squats, push-ups, burpees, or jumping jacks.

Purpose: This workout is designed to improve cardiovascular endurance, increase muscular strength, and burn calories.

  1. 30-20-10: This workout consists of 30 seconds of moderate-intensity exercise, followed by 20 seconds of higher-intensity exercise, and 10 seconds of maximal effort, repeated for 4-5 rounds. This can be done with exercises such as running, cycling, or rowing.

Purpose: This workout is designed to improve aerobic and anaerobic fitness, increase endurance, and improve overall athletic performance.

  1. Hill sprints: This workout consists of sprinting up a hill at maximal effort, followed by a period of rest or walking down the hill, repeated for several rounds.

Purpose: This workout is designed to improve cardiovascular endurance, increase muscular strength, and burn calories.

  1. EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute): This workout consists of performing a set number of reps of an exercise at the start of every minute, followed by rest until the next minute begins. This can be done with exercises such as push-ups, squats, or burpees.

Purpose: This workout is designed to improve muscular endurance, increase strength, and improve overall fitness.

Overall, the purpose of HIIT workouts is to challenge the body in a shorter amount of time, with the goal of improving overall fitness, burning calories, and improving athletic performance.

HIIT workouts can be customized to fit the needs and fitness levels of individuals, making it a versatile and effective form of exercise.

The Many Benefits Of HIIT Workouts

One of the benefits of HIIT workouts is that they continue to burn calories even after the workout has ended. This is known as the afterburn effect, which occurs because the body continues to burn calories as it works to restore its pre-workout state. Another benefit of HIIT is that it can improve insulin sensitivity, which can help with weight loss and prevent diabetes.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to provide numerous benefits for both physical and mental health. Here is a list of 8 more benefits of High-intensity interval training:

  1. Improves cardiovascular health: HIIT can improve cardiovascular health by increasing the efficiency of the heart and lungs, improving blood flow, and reducing the risk of heart disease.
  2. Increases muscle mass: HIIT can help build muscle mass and improve strength, especially in combination with resistance training.
  3. Boosts metabolism: HIIT has been shown to increase metabolism, which can help the body burn more calories throughout the day.
  4. Enhances endurance: HIIT can improve endurance and athletic performance by increasing the body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently.
  5. Reduces stress and anxiety: HIIT can reduce stress and anxiety levels by promoting the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
  6. Improves cognitive function: HIIT has been shown to improve cognitive function, including memory and attention.
  7. Can be done anywhere: HIIT can be done with little to no equipment and can be done anywhere, making it a convenient form of exercise.
  8. Time-efficient: HIIT can be completed in as little as 10-20 minutes, making it an ideal workout for people with busy schedules.

It is important to note that HIIT can be a very intense form of exercise and should be approached with caution, especially for those who are new to exercise or have underlying health conditions.

It is recommended to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.

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