High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
I thought it was time to write an article about taking your interval training to the next level. You may have already heard about HIIT training but not known what it was about. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and is a killer form of cardio used by people who want to burn fat quickly with really intense workouts.
In other words, if you are just starting out this is not the right type of training for you. This is the kind of training that can make inexperienced people get nauseous and very light-headed so be warned! I would recommend this only to athletes and really fit individuals who have been training consistently for at least 6 months in a row.
With all that said let’s look at an example of HIIT and what it consists…
HIIT Example – Jogging/Sprinting Intervals:
Total time = 20 minutes
8 minute warm up jog so you break a sweat (6.0 mph on a treadmill)
30 second sprint at your maximal effort (9-10 mph on a treadmill)
30 second quick paced jog (7 mph)
The above two 30 second intervals are cycled 7-8 times until you get to the 15 or 16 minute mark
4-5minutes cool down jog (5.0 mph on treadmill)
This doesn’t seem like much time does it? Well the intensity of this is so high that you will without a doubt be completely exhausted and wheezing by the 15 minute mark. If you’re one to measure the intensity by use of your heart rate, the sprints should get you into the 80% max HR territory.
This example of High Intensity Interval Training can be applied to almost any activity (some examples: cycling, rowing, rollerblading, swimming, jumping rope). With that said, sprinting is absolutely the most efficient way of burning fat because all the muscles in your body are being used and you will be firing up your metabolism for several hours after you have finished your workout! Pretty sweet hey?
Precautions when training with HIIT:
The number one precaution is to make sure that you are eating healthy and that you have had 2-3 glasses of water an hour before this kind of training. Also, you want to make sure you are getting adequate protein and carbs at least an hour before and after your workout as well.
A great ratio to consider is 2:1 carbs to protein. The best carbs to consider include: bananas, mangos, carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and brown rice. Some smart protein sources include: lean meats (such as chicken breast, fish, prawns/shrimp, extra lean beef), beans/legumes, low-fat dairy products (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese), and of course whey protein powder and hemp protein.
The second precaution is that you should never do two days of High Intensity Interval Training in a row. This kind of training puts a great amount of stress on your muscles, joints, and bones and a minimum of 24 hours is required to allow your body to recover. Be smart and make sure you get adequate sleep or you may be compromising the integrity of your immune system
A third precaution is that if you ever feel light-headed or have any kind of trouble breathing make sure to stop or at least take it down a notch. Many times light-headedness means that your diet before this training was inadequate with carbohydrates and electrolytes (salt, potassium), so try adjusting this the next day and see how it affects your training. Furthermore, drinks such as Scivation Xtend and BSN CellMass are also a good idea to make sure your electrolyte levels are balanced.
Once again, unless you have been training consecutively and consistently for at least 6 months don’t jump into this kind of training as it could lead to health problems and injuries. A good strength training routine to increase the strength of your muscles and joints is preferable for several weeks before you get into HIIT (for workout routines check out my articles Workout Routines for Men, & Workout Routines for Women).
Your comments are always appreciated, let me know if you’ve tried HIIT and what kind of results you have gotten…