High Intensity Interval Training: An Exhaustive Guide to HIIT

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high intensity interval training

You workout regularly and you think that is just fine. Well, it is but did you know that you can get more from your regular workouts with HIIT? What is HIIT, you ask. A High Intensity Interval Training consists of a workout or training technique where full-on bursts of exercise are alternated with short recovery periods.

high intensity interval training

Studies show that HIIT helps to keep the heartbeat up and burns more fat from the body while gaining muscle. Typically HIIT is a training technique used to build muscle mass and highly popular with athletes, bodybuilders and actors. If you are keen to start with HIIT on a beginner level, there are certain points that should never be forgotten.

high intensity interval training

High Intensity Interval Training

For one, incorporating high intensity interval training is not without risks. Everybody has a different composition and if not done in the right way, HIIT can do more harm than good. Over training can cause numerous problems such as muscle damage, metabolic stress, excess tension that ultimately damages your central nervous system. Therefore, keep the risks in mind and always go with an expert when training with HIIT.

high intensity interval training

The most popular interval training method is the Tabata, that was named after Izumi Tabata, Japanese researcher who did extensive work on high intensity interval training. The Tabata consists of going full on for 20 seconds with a 10 seconds recovery period repeated for no more than 4 minutes.

For HIIT, you do not require special equipment like weights etc, especially if you are a beginner. HIIT works with your body weight and as the focus is on an increased heart rate, the workout is a complete full body one. Here are a couple of workouts that are popular among beginners.

HIIT Body Weight Workout 1 for Beginners:

high intensity interval training

Pullups (as many as you can in 30 seconds) followed by Jumping Jacks (60secs) followed by Burpees (20 secs) followed by Rest(1 min)

Try to do this circuit for at least 4 times.

HIIT Body Weight Workout 2 for Beginners:

high intensity interval training

Mountain Climbers (45 secs) followed by Pushups (20 secs) followed by Front Plank (1 min) followed by Jump Rope (1 min)

Once you are ready to step into the next level of HIIT Workouts, here are a few that are best for building those chiselled muscles.

Barbell Circuit HIIT Training Advanced:

high intensity interval training

  • 8-14 reps 4 Rounds. No rest between exercises, 1 min rest between rounds.

KettleBell or Dumbell Circuit HIIT Training Advanced:

high intensity interval training

  • Floor-to-Overhead Kettlebell Press: 4 rounds (30 secs, 15 secs)
  • Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing: 8 rounds (20 secs, 10 secs)
  • High Plank Burpee to Kettlebell Deadlift: 2 rounds  (40 secs, 20 secs)
  • High Plank Knee-In With Kettlebell Transfer:  2 rounds (40 secs, 20 secs)
  • Lunge With Kettlebell Clean: 4 rounds (30 secs, 15 secs rest)
  • Kettlebell Jack: 8 rounds (20 secs, 10 secs rest)

The idea of HIIT training is limited to the gym. You can do it at home in as little as under 10 minutes. Basically, with HIIT training, we are trying to put the body in a mode where it can burn fat even when you are not exercising. With HIIT, the intense training causes an oxygen deficit in the body that stays for much longer than after your workout is finished.

high intensity interval training

To complete the requirement for oxygen, the body keeps the heart rate up and raises the metabolism that makes it an ideal ground to burn excess fat. This phenomenon is called EPOC or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or simply ‘afterburn’ and is the reason for greater fast loss with HIIT.

So, go ahead and get the more out of your workouts with HIIT!