What’s HIIT all about?

March 04, 2019 | by Angie Ruggiero
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

HIIT is a style of exercise which stands for high-intensity interval training. These intervals may consist of various bouts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of recovery.

The frequency of high- and low-intensity intervals is usually based on which type of HIIT is performed. Individuals work around 80-95 percent of their maximum heart rate during the high-intensity phase. When they are in the recovery phase, individuals work around 50 percent of their target heart rate.

Some examples of HIIT include, but are not limited to:

  • Tabata: In this type of HIIT, individuals exercise at a high intensity for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. They complete eight sets of each exercise.
  • Every minute on the minute (EMOM): This HIIT is time-based. Individuals preform a different exercise every minute for a fixed amount of time.

Ideally, your HIIT should last 30 minutes. If you are not tired afterward, try increasing your weight or the intensity of each movement. One of the best things about HIIT is that any exercise can be modified.

Whether you are performing too easy of an exercise or an overly challenging exercise, the exercise can be adjusted in order to accomplish your fitness goals.

Keep in mind, before performing any type of HIIT, you should always warm up for 5-10 minutes to ensure your body is awake and ready to perform. If you go into intervals before you warm up, there is a higher risk of injury or early muscular fatigue.


By incorporating high-intensity interval training into your workout plan, you can experience many, if not all, of the benefits listed below.

  • Enhanced aerobic and anaerobic endurance
  • Weight loss. When you are performing these intervals, your body is working at much higher intensity levels, causing your body to burn through calories much quicker.
  • Increased metabolism. Our bodies convert the calories from our meals into energy. As you get stronger, your body will not only burn more calories to meet the energy requirement, but it will continue to burn fat even after your workout.
  • Enhanced strength. With every HIIT workout, your body is expected to take on a heavy workload. Your body uses all of its force to meet the expectations of your workout.

Through repetition of lifting and challenging yourself, your muscles will grow to keep up with the demand of your workload.

  • Quicker results
  • Improved performance. As you combine all of these benefits, your body will start to work more efficiently as a whole.

Recommendations & tips

When determining how many times you should include HIIT training in your workout, consider your goals as well as your current exercise capabilities.

For beginners, I would recommend starting with one HIIT workout a week. See how your body reacts and recovers. As you get used to it and your body recovers more quickly, try adding another HIIT workout to your regimen.

If you are looking to improve your strength, one HIIT program per week may be all you need since most of your time should be dedicated to resistance training.

As you are completing HIIT programs, it is important to maintain proper form. Without proper form, you will compromise your results while also increasing your chances of injury. It’s important to find a balance between intensity and efficiency.

HIIT was created to meet the needs of any individual, whether you are a beginner or more advanced. It is one of the most efficient plans to help individuals reach their goals within a timely matter. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone to give high-intensity interval training a try.

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