High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has become an increasingly popular training method over the last few years, mostly due to the fact that more people than ever want to lose a bit of weight and that’s exactly what it promises to deliver.
Do a HIIT workout, eat a salad, take a selfie and you’ll be more than half way towards achieving your goal, unfortunately it’s not as simple as that!
The main problem I see with this form of training is that most people don’t know what it actually means to workout at a high intensity, it's not pretty, it's hard work!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an exercise strategy where you alternate between intense (near maximal effort) bouts of exercise and less-intense recovery periods.
You can use free-weights, weighted and bodyweight exercises but some of the things that work best include; Skipping, Cycling, Running, and Running Up Hills aka. Hill Sprints.
Once you've found a suitable hill (with no holes or divots) you're going to have to warm-up in order to help prevent injury and prepare your body for an effective workout; a typical warm-up may consist of some ankle/hip/shoulder rotations, light jogging, squats and lunges.
After you've warmed up the workouts themselves are SIMPLE!
Of course the specifics can vary dependent on the individual but that's the basic idea.
When it comes down to the WORK you can increase or decrease the distance you run in order to make the session more or less difficult.
REST wise you want to allow enough recovery after one sprint to achieve maximal effort on the next; this could take you the walk back down the hill or anything between 1-3 minutes.
How many times you REPEAT that process will depend on your level of fitness but a good indicator would be that if your performance drops below 10-20% then it's time to call it a day.
Over time, once you've adapted to the stresses on the muscles, joints, and connective tissues, you could look to increase the difficulty of your training sessions by increasing the work, reducing the rest, or doing other exercises alongside your sprints.
Here's an example of a routine I used to do quite regularly:
02 Burpees > 1 Hill Sprint
04 Burpees > 1 Hill Sprint
06 Burpees > 1 Hill Sprint
08 Burpees > 1 Hill Sprint
10 Burpees > 1 Hill Sprint
Of course you could swap the burpees for push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges or anything else for that matter but it's a nice way to mix things up and add a bit of spice to your routines.
Do these workouts once or twice a week and you'll be more than pleased with the effect they have on your physical condition.
I hope that's useful.
If you have any questions or require any further information, let me know.
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