Many of us have busy lives, which often allows little time to exercise. The solution? High Intensity Interval Training, or “HIIT.”
HIIT enables you to work out for less time and receive better results. This heart-pumping, vigorous type of training features short, intense cardiovascular exercises designed to enhance athletic performance and overall health and fitness levels.
To begin a HIIT workout, warm-up at a low to moderate pace for 3 to 5 minutes to increase heart rate and warm the muscles (eg. brisk walk and dynamic stretches).
Next, engage in a variety of exercises performed with an all-out, intense effort for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of active rest (or transition to next exercise in circuit). Perform 3 groups of 3 exercises and repeat for 3 rounds (or sets).
Lastly, cool-down at a low to moderate pace for 3 to 5 minutes to decrease heart rate. Perform stretches targeting major muscle groups, and hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds (eg. brisk walk and static stretches).
A Sample HIIT Exercise Circuit
- Squats –> Crunches –> Push-Ups
- Lunges –> Reverse Crunches –> Dumbbell Pull-Over
- Step-Ups –> “V” Sit-Ups –> Overhead Shoulder Press
- After completing 3 sets of each group of exercises, rest for 30 seconds
- Weight should be challenging while still able to maintain proper form. In general, an 8 to 20 pound dumbbell, depending fitness level.
- Perform as many repetitions as possible during 20 second period with good form.
- Rest, even if you want to blast through the entire set!
Be Active! Be Healthy! Be YOU!
IDEA Health & Fitness Association (2013). Idea Fit Tips, 11(9). doi: http://www.ideafit.com/fitness-library/high-intensity-training-for-group-classes?utm_source=Fit+Tips+September+2013&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=September+2013+-+NonMember+1+%281%29