Most people see physical exercise as a long process which shows little gradual impact. But if you have been doing a bit of research in the fitness genre, you would know that not all exercises encompass long periods of work. The most effective exercise plan that delivers results at a fast rate is high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
As a guide to high-intensity interval training for beginners, the goal of this post is to show you how it works and how it can be used to help you achieve your fitness goals much more effectively.
What Is High-Intensity Interval Training?
High-intensity interval training is a combination of two exercise techniques: “high intensity training” and “interval training”. High intensity training is one which seeks to push the body to its maximum limit in order to increase the body’s rate of absorbing oxygen.
When the rate of oxygen absorption is increased through high intensity training, calories can be burnt at a fast rate for up to 48 hours after workout.
Interval training is a technique which involves alternating periods of intense exercise and low to moderate periods of exercise. Interval training involves working strenuously for a short period and then relaxing a little before resuming the strenuous workout.
From the above, you can easily deduce that high-intensity interval training is the type of training where you push your body to its maximum exercise limits followed by intervals of low to moderate exercises.
The good thing about high-intensity interval training is that it doesn’t consume much of your time but it is quite effective. The maximum amount of time for a workout period is usually about 30 minutes. Compared to the standard two-hour workout, this is surely a bargain.
However, you should note that it is not for the faint of heart. The exercise could be particularly strenuous. And as a beginner, it is best if you modify it to enable you to start with less strenuous exercises before advancing to the more strenuous ones.
How Does It Work?
The key difference between high-intensity interval training and normal interval training is that high-intensity interval training is not only concerned with increasing your heart rate. With HIIT, you have to give your maximum effort during workout.
I could go into detail of how it really works but doing that would involve a lot of medical jargon and is sure to get you lost in the process; which kind of defeats the purpose of this whole post. Just know that the quick burst of intense activity followed by the low intensity workout periods help to increase your heart rate and burn more fat.
Are There Different Types of High-Intensity Interval Training?
There are different types of high-intensity interval training. One of the most effective and my favorite is the Tabata Training. Tabata Training involves 20 seconds of all-out effort with 10 seconds of rest for a total of 8 cycles, spanning about 4 minutes.
Tabata training can be incorporated into any exercise type like cycling, running, strength training, plyometric and body weight exercises. When doing all these, the thing that remains constant is the 20-10 Tabata formula. Although Tabata training is four minutes, you can perform as many as you want in a row.
However, even for most experts, the maximum time spent doing Tabata training ranges from 20 to 30 minutes. So, don’t try to overdo it.
What Is the Origin of Tabata Training?
Tabata training is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, who discovered a training regimen that is time-based and very calculable. He developed the Tabata training interval system while working with the Japanese speed skating team.
The development of Tabata training helped to disprove the notion that you need a lot of miles and time under your belt before you can see tangible results in your training program.
Who Is High-Intensity Interval Training For?
High-intensity interval training is for all kinds of people. The key is that not everyone has to start with an all-out maximum effort. If you push yourself too much during HIIT, you could sustain injuries; slow and steady wins the race.
Although all this might make HIIT appear as a daunting task, anybody can do it. Just ensure that you modify it to fit your stamina and body limits. Once again, don’t push yourself too far just because you want to see fast results, it could be counter-productive.
How Many Sessions Should You Do in a Week?
For starters, one HIIT session in a week would be appropriate. When you have honed your skills and improved your stamina, you can steadily increase it over time.
However, you shouldn’t do it more than five times in a week in order not to injure yourself.
At What Rate Does It Burn Calories?
High-intensity interval training burns about ten calories per minute. Also, due to the fact that HIIT boosts your body metabolism, you would continue to burn calories long after you have completed the exercise. You can even get rid of body fat and build muscles while sleeping.
HIIT is simply the best option for people looking to lose weight very quickly, while increasing their endurance and other fitness benchmarks. Make it a habit, and you will definitely begin to see the results in no time at all.