Written by Barbara Whatley, Spa & Fitness Director.
Recently we’ve all been hearing the words “HITS” around here, but there is another “HIIT” word that is becoming very popular and used more often in the gym. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, a form of cardiovascular conditioning that incorporates both anaerobic activity and moments of low intensity for rest.
High Intensity vs. Interval Training
High intensity training is when you push yourself to your maximal output for a workout and is usually done for a relatively short period of time. An example of this would be using an elliptical on its highest level of difficulty for 10-15 minutes.
Interval training is alternating between high and low intensity within the same workout with resting periods in between. An example of this would be sprinting a short distance and then walking back to the starting point. Research shows that interval training burns more calories over a short period of time than steady-state cardio (doing the same exercise for the entire workout). Not to mention, it boosts your metabolism.
Both high intensity and interval training methods are effective at burning fat and when combined, they are even more effective because they continue to burn fat both during and after your workout.
Let’s Break it Down
HIIT workouts will usually list the amount of rounds and intervals, as well as which exercise to perform. One might look like this:
1 minute of work
30 seconds rest
- High knees
To summarize, the above workout would include 5 rounds total with intervals of 1 minute and 30 seconds each. Once the timer starts, you perform 1 minute of squats and then once that minute is up, you rest for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds of rest has gone by, you proceed to 1 minute of pushups, followed by another 30 seconds of rest. Next, 1 minute of crunches and then 30 seconds of rest. Finally, you will do 1 minute of high knees, concluding with 30 seconds of rest. This will complete 1 round. You will continue to do the previous steps for a total of 5 rounds to complete your HIIT workout.
Make it Personal
At Golden Ocala’s fitness center, we offer personal trainers who integrate HIIT workouts into their sessions as well as smart keys on which we are able to program a HIIT workout on so that you will not have to keep track of a timer or adjust the equipment during different intervals.