HIIT workouts have been around for a while but it’s only been in recent years that it has become really popular in the UK. But what does HIIT even mean? HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. That may sound like a bit of a mouthful, which is why people refer to the shorter version!
HIIT is one of the most popular forms of workout nowadays. Typically, the session will range from 10 to 30 minutes in duration and despite how short that seems, it can produce health benefits similar to twice as much moderate-intensity exercise.
Lots of people find this type of workout to be the best for them as you’re done and dusted in 30 minutes and are then free to enjoy the rest of the day. One of the reasons it’s so popular is the group training aspect; there’s something about training as a team that makes you work harder and pushes you, while also making friends and meeting new people.
The exercises can vary in each session, but it commonly includes sprints, burpees, lunges, star jumps, high knees, press ups, the list goes on! A HIIT workout could consist of 40 seconds burning energy then 15 seconds rest, then you would the repeat that exercise again. The calories burnt in a normal workout as opposed to a HIIT session can be very different. A study compared the calories burnt of a HIIT session and a normal run in the time of 30minutes and found that the HIIT burned 25% - 30% more calories than the other type of workout.
Even when you’ve finished your workout, your body is still burning calories as HIIT can increase your metabolic rate for hours plus it can increase your metabolism. This form of exercise is a good way to lose fat and put on muscle. One of the best things about HIIT is that the workouts are extremely cost efficient because you don’t have to involve any equipment! All you need is a little open space. HIIT workouts utilise your own body weight, so any workout that gets your heart rate up quickly can be implemented into the workout. Weights can sometimes make the workout less effective because your main focus in HIIT is getting your heart rate up rather than toning a particular muscle group.
So, where do you start? Do you want to find a group session to attend in your town? Do you want to try a session in your living room? There are loads of free apps available, or you could get one up from YouTube so you can watch the techniques. If you like HIIT, that’s great! Remember, once you’ve started you need to stretch before/after the exercises and give yourself the right amount of rest. This is to ensure your body recovers and avoids injuries.