High Intensity Interval Training aka HIIT has become an increasingly popular workout style over the last decade. Not to be confused with Tabata, which is similar, but has some key differences. So, what does it mean to do HIIT? If we break it down, starting with ‘high intensity’, this means we should be utilizing our anaerobic energy system. This is the energy system that allows us to sprint and complete other explosive tasks. The work period for this type of exercise be less than two minutes. Any longer than two minutes and you and transitioning into aerobic training. Most people new to HIIT should start with about 30s per movement, adding or decreasing time depending on the difficulty movement. In most cases, you will repeat a few movements throughout the duration of the workout.
Which brings us to the second part of the name ‘Interval Training’. The best part of interval training is that not only do you get to take breaks, but it is also important that you do otherwise, again you are training aerobically. This comes up frequently when your personal trainer or group fitness instructor gives you breaks between exercises. You should not be supplementing exercises in between sets, because it is killing the point of the high intensity interval. If you finish the interval and feel the movement was too easy for you, ask for ways to progress. This can include, but is not limited to increasing range of motion, load, or frequency.
HIIT is a great cardiovascular workout, and many people prefer it to long slow distance cardio, however, there are benefits to including both in your exercise routine. HIIT can be done with traditional cardio equipment but can also include free weights and body weight exercises. If you would like help creating a HIIT workout, meeting with a personal trainer to determine the appropriate movements and timing for you is always the safest option. For those still at home, a virtual HIIT session with body weight movements can be useful in helping you prepare for the transition back into the gym!
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As a Division 1 Rugby player and outdoor enthusiast, Bree has made fitness a defining factor in her life. Her purpose is to keep you motivated to improve life! She has worked as an exercise specialist in rehab, assisted living facilities, and in a university setting. She is passionate about taking a whole-body approach to fitness for clients of all levels. She is a certified rock-climbing instructor and recently finished a manual on how to train for rock climbing. Bree is a friendly and caring trainer that will do whatever it takes to see you succeed! Outside of work Bree enjoys hiking with her dog, rock climbing, and finding the newest local brewery.