High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) is an useful form of exercise, and it’s very popular with many of today’s training programs. HIIT alternates between low to moderate intensity intervals, and high intensity bursts. Interval training is nothing new, in the 1950s runner Roger Bannister trained with intervals and it helped drive him to become the first person to ever run a mile in under 4 minutes. Bannister called his HIIT Fartlek’s; he would run 300 meters, jog for 100 meters then immediately sprint the next 300 meters. He repeated that routine several times over the course of a workout.
Over the years interval training has evolved into many different forms, some interval workouts are designed for top athletes, but others programs like Jazzercise and Richard Simmons’ Sweatin To The Oldies also use interval training for everyday people. Most new marathon training models involve sprinting and other High Intensity sessions. Popular recently is the crossfit model, which places interval training on circuit (note: you don’t have to go to a crossfit gym to do high intensity interval training.)
Why do we do HIIT? HIIT training is an effective, efficient form of exercise designed to increase your heart rate and tax your muscles at the same time. Think of it as active rest, while one part of your body rests, the others go to work. For all the different HIIT models, the goal is always to spike your heart rate up to a peak, allow it to rest just long enough to recover, then push the spike up again. When done right, HIIT keeps your heart rate on average higher than a consistent exercise regimen.
For example, if a 40 year old female, who has a max heart rate of roughly 170bpm(beats per minute), goes for a 3-4 mile run (about 30 minutes), she can usually expect to maintain an average heart rate of 130bpm. During a HIIT session, this same person would spike her heart rate up to 160bpm or higher over and over again during a 30 minute workout. Between these spikes she would rest, however at the end of the workout her overall heart rate would average out to about 150bpm, higher than the 130bpm for the consistent 30 minute run.
HIIT is not for everyone. It can be intense and difficult to adjust to. But when done right HIIT can bring your max cardio-vascular output up, increase your ability to handle high stress and physical activity, and improve your overall fitness.
If you are interested in HIIT drop by a small class at Push Gym Here.