High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout is a unique type of exercise routine. You might be aware of the basics of this workout. However, on a more intricate level, there is a ton of inaccurate information and perceptions about this type of exercise.
In this article, we will attempt to point out some of the critical HIIT workout elements, as well as a few of the ideal bits of equipment you can use.
HIIT is particularly useful for people with busy schedules. A standard session lasts between 10 minutes to half-an-hour.
The reason that HIIT is gaining so much popularity is that, despite its brief duration, it provides significantly more advantages than any average-intensity workout routine would.
- Most importantly, it allows you to burn high calories within a short time. It reduces significantly more calories, compared to a moderate level exercise like jogging.
- Burning more calories will help you lose fat. Depending upon the exercises you perform, HIIT might enable you to build up muscle mass –especially in the muscle groups that are targeted most frequently. You have a higher chance of gaining muscle mass if you were not very active before starting the HIIT workout.
- It enables you to consume oxygen more efficiently. There are other exercises (like cycling) which have this effect. However, HIIT can provide this benefit in a significantly shorter amount of time.
- Might reduce heart rate. A healthy person’s resting heart rate is around 60 to 100 bpm (beats per minute). However, for a well-trained athlete, it could be even lower (about 40-50 bpm). A lower heart rate reflects better heart function. Better heart function will also lead to reduced blood pressure, as the heart will have to put less effort to pump blood.
- Reduction in blood sugar levels: HIIT workouts help decrease blood sugar by reducing resistance to insulin. This effect makes it particularly beneficial for individuals who have type 2 diabetes – the one which causes insulin resistance.
2 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF High-Intensity Interval Training WORKOUT:
Pretty obvious, going by the name. HIIT workout comprises of brief bursts of very high-effort cardio. To make it count, you have to stretch yourself to the maximum possible limit – the reason they are short (not more than 90 seconds per session).
Even though it may sound like tough work, it is the most effective workout regime if you are looking to burn calories while improving your strength and tolerance. The hard work will lead to an enormous amount of oxygen consumption, which, in turn, will lead to the shedding of more calories.
And, what’s more – HIIT enables you to continue burning calories even after you are done with the session. The hard work that you put in increases the metabolism to the level where the person goes on losing calories even after he or she stops exercising.
It is essential to have the appropriate length of breaks during the workout. If you do not allow your body time to recover between sessions, you are doing the entire thing incorrectly.
The reason that rests are essential is that, when you rest, you force your body to keep adapting to two very different kinds of states. The effort the body exerts to adjust from the intense exercise phase to the not-so-intense recovery phase, leads to a significant amount of calorie burnout, and, ultimately, fat loss.
Besides, the breaks allow the body to recover from being at its best for the next workout phase.
The HIIT law says that you need to put in a real shift, take a break, then put in another real shift. Simple.
The beauty of this workout type is that you do not need a fancy gym to perform it. You might not even require any material. Just find something that elevates your heartbeat, and apply the aforementioned HIIT law to it.
That being said, having equipment always makes things more effective. Moreover, watching your equipment will motivate you to be consistent and dedicated. Therefore, next, we discuss some of the best pieces of equipment for a HIIT workout and how they can be used.
‘Rowing’ is one of the best cardiovascular exercises, allowing you to target your entire frame. You can change the settings of the machine according to what fits you best, and structure your complete workout accordingly.
Losing fat is the critical purpose of HIIT for a lot of people, and not many other kinds of workout equipment help with it better than the rowing machine. This effect makes it perfect for a HIIT workout.
You have probably seen one or two people at the gym always hurl a ball on the ground – a slam ball. You keep throwing the ball until the effort makes your head whirl. It is a rubber ball and a handy bit of equipment for HIIT training.
Its best feature is its flexibility. Exercising with a slam ball allows the user to target a variety of muscle groups throughout the body, providing a comprehensive workout.
However, HIIT workout with this bit of equipment requires caution and care. Incorrect posture can lead to injuries or sprains. It also requires a tremendous amount of persistence and effort. However, at the end of the day, as you feel your heart thumping in your ears, you’d think that it is all worth it.
Not a lot of people associate a treadmill with HIIT workouts. Most people use this machine for moderate-intensity training exercises like jogging or walking. Very few people even consider changing the settings or the workout plan for their treadmill from the default ones. However, you continue doing the same workout, and the body adapts quickly. From then on, the progress is close to nil.
For HIIT training, you might need to perform a bit of trial-and-error to find the perfect setting. The key lies in figuring out a combination of speed plus incline that you can only manage for a very brief period (not more than 60 seconds, ideally).
Once you complete a minute at this pace, slow things down and walk for a couple of minutes or so; this shall be your resting phase. After this, you go back to full intensity.
Where a treadmill allows adjustments in speed and inclination, an elliptical trainer can provide even more variation to your workout regime. These added variations include factors like ramp elevation and resistance.
During the intense period, you can operate at levels that barely allow you to complete a minute. Once you complete those 60 seconds, you can reduce the elevation and resistance to the point that will enable you to recover and get your breath back.
However, before you even begin with an elliptical trainer, you need to ensure that you can spend a decent amount of time (around half-an-hour to 45 minutes) on cardio equipment. Once you can perform low to average intensity exercises for the said period, you can turn to an elliptical trainer.
In conclusion, HIIT workouts, if done right, can prove very useful within a brief time. However – much like with any other form of exercise – you will only witness significant results if you are dedicated and consistent.