HIIT – What Is It?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) really does ‘hit’ all the right spots in a workout routine! A HIIT workout consists of alternating between a short but intense burst of activity to raise your heart rate quickly, then switching to a short rest period or lower intensity exercise to bring your heart rate back down. These intervals will repeat for the duration of your workout. Typically the work-to-rest ratio is 2:1, in other words if you sprint for 1 minutes, you should jog, walk or rest for 30 seconds, and keep alternating. You can apply this ratio to various upper body and lower body workouts, focusing on time of each interval rather than a certain number of reps. In some cases to make it easier, you can modify by reversing the ratio.
This type of workout turns your body into a fat-burning machine for up to 24 hours after your workout is finished, studies have shown. This is due to the production of ‘excess post-exercise oxygen consumption’ (EPOC). EPOC is oxygen used to restore and replenish the body from the large amount of energy exerted in those short periods of time, to eventually bring your body back to it’s normal resting metabolic rate (the normal amount of energy your body needs while resting). To better understand, picture what your car goes through after a long drive. Once your vehicle is turned off, the engine still takes time to gradually cool down back to it’s normal sitting temperature. Essentially you can say the same for your body, during the “cool down” phase of the next 24 hours after your workout your body is still burning calories and fat until it reaches normal resting levels!
Still not convinced that HIIT has it all? The benefits of HIIT training are amazing! Along with boosting your metabolism which makes it easier to burn fat, it increases your endurance, power and speed, improves your blood pressure, produces endorphins and increases the production of your body’s natural HGH (growth hormone) levels to promote muscle growth!
Preparation Is Key!
Keep in mind with a strenuous activity such as HIIT it’s important to be prepared, and you should be on a healthy diet that supports this type of workout. It’s always essential to warm your body up with a light activity before going all out with a HIIT routine as the risk for injury is heightened when your body isn’t loosened up. It’s also a good idea to do some light stretching after a workout to help prevent muscle soreness and fatigue. Prepping for interval training also includes making sure your body is properly fueled for these workouts as they use a ton of your body’s energy! Good carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits and veggies will be your driving force for your energy, along with lean proteins. Also make sure to drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout, you’ll be sweating a lot! Consulting with a nutritionist is very beneficial when starting a new workout routine such as HIIT.
Where Can You Do HIIT?
Here at Summit Fitness and Sports we offer a 6 week small group training class, rightly named – BodyBlast! This class is taught by our PULSE Personal Trainer, Tiffany! With a new killer set up each class, you won’t be bored! You want to see results, become a part of this fitness family! If you’re interested in trying BodyBlast, give us a call at (860)887-3591 to set up your free trial hour in one of our time slots – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday at 6pm, or Saturday at 8:30am. Spots are limited, so get in before days fill up!
See ya at The Summit!
-Kaitlin, Member Services.