High Intensity Interval Training

High Intensity Interval Training:

            ̶̶  ̶̶  ̶̶  ̶̶  ̶̶  For those who want to be healthier and fitter but have little time

High intensity interval training sessions are commonly called HIIT workouts. This type of training involves repeated bouts of high intensity effort followed by varied recovery times.

Why HIIT?
Because the high economical results.
A typical HIIT exercise can take 15-20 minutes. However, it has been shown to improve:
• Aerobic and anaerobic fitness
• Blood pressure
• Cardiovascular health
• Insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to make energy)
• Cholesterol profiles
• Abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass

How about losing weight?
Because of the vigorous contractile nature of HIIT workouts, the excess postexercise oxygen consumption generally tends to be modestly greater, adding about 6 to 15% more calories to the overall workout energy expenditure which will be no less calorie burns than your hour-long aerobic exercise.

How to Develop a HIIT?
When developing a HIIT program, consider the duration, intensity, and frequency of the work intervals and the length of the recovery intervals. Intensity during the high intensity work interval should range ≥80% of your estimated maximal heart rate. As a good subjective indicator, the work interval should feel like you are exercising “hard” to “very hard”. Using the talk test as your guide, it would be like carrying on a conversation, with difficulty. The intensity of the recovery interval should be 40-50% of your estimate maximal heart rate. This would be a physical activity that felt very comfortable, in order to help you recover and prepare for your next work interval.

How Many Times a Week?
HIIT workouts are more exhaustive then steady state endurance workouts. Therefore, a longer recovery period is often needed. Perhaps start with one HIIT training workout a week, with your other workouts being steady state workouts. As you feel ready for more challenge, add a second HIIT workout a week, making sure you spread the HIIT workouts throughout the week.

Safety Concerns:
Persons who have been living rather sedentary lifestyles or periods of physical inactivity may need a Medical clearance from a physician because of an increased coronary disease risk to high intensity exercise.

Prior to beginning HIIT training a person is encouraged to establish a foundational level of fitness. This foundation is sometimes referred to as a “base fitness level”. A base fitness level is consistent aerobic training (3 to 5 times a week for 20 to 60 min per session at a somewhat hard intensity) for several weeks that produces muscular adaptations, which improve oxygen transport to the muscles. Establishing appropriate exercise form and muscle strength are important before engaging in regular HIIT to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injury.

Regardless of age, gender and fitness level, one of the keys to safe participation of HIIT training is for all people to modify the intensity of the work interval to a preferred challenging level. Safety in participation should always be primary priority, and people should focus more on finding their own optimal training intensities as opposed to keeping up with other persons.

Source: American College of Sports Medicine.

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