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WHAT IS HIIT

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By Noelle Walker at New Fitness Personal Training

hiit

So what is HIIT really? I see many people doing HIIT and that’s great! But are they really doing HIIT? What is HIIT exactly? HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training.

YOUTUBE VIDEOS

This past week I have been looking at a lot of fitness videos on YouTube that have the title HIIT on them. And they were NOT HIIT workouts. They were high intensity alright so they got that part down but where they failed was the interval part. HIIT is supposed to be a bout of high intensity exercise  usually for about a minute or two followed by a lower intensity exercise anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute, thirty seconds if you are intermediate/advanced and one minute if you area  beginner.
I’m either seeing people do an entire video doing high intensity aerobics continuously for twenty minutes with a quick five second water intermittent break or they are doing a high intensity exercise followed by a twenty second rest. Neither of those things are HIIT.

ACTIVE AND HEALTHY

Now I’m not knocking these exercise videos on YouTube. They are beneficial to almost everyone. They ARE going to help you lose fat. They ARE going to increase your energy levels. And they ARE going to make you feel more confident and increase your self esteem. I’m always in favour of something that is going to help people become more active and healthy. So that’s good. But these videos are NOT HIIT.

I’m not sure if they put HIIT in their title for clickbait or they just genuinely don’t know what HIIT is.

HIIT DEFINITION

So here is the actual definition:*High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a system of organizing cardiorespiratory training which calls for repeated bouts of short duration, high-intensity exercise intervals intermingled with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery. The intense work periods may range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long, and are performed at 80% to 95% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate, the maximum number of times your heart will beat in a minute without overexerting yourself. The recovery periods may last equally as long as the work periods and are usually performed at 40% to 50% of a person’s estimated maximal heart rate. The workout continues with the alternating work and relief periods totaling 20 to 60 minutes.

BENEFITS OF HIIT

One of the major benefits of HIIT is that using the appropriate work-to-recovery intervals can train the body how to become efficient at producing and using energy from the anaerobic energy system. This type of session can also train the body to effectively remove metabolic waste from the muscles between the work intervals. In addition, HIIT also serves as an effective way to increase VO2 max without having to run for long distances or periods of time.

So what does this tell you? It tells you that HIIT is not high intensity straight for 20-30 minutes. That is called high intensity aerobics. It also tells you that HIIT is not a minute of high intensity exercise followed by a water break or standing or sitting around for twenty to thirty seconds or more and then going hard again.

An Example :to illustrate this further and give you an idea of an ideal HIIT program would be Burpees for a minute followed by Lying Reg Raises on a mat for thirty seconds(intermediate and advanced) or one minute(beginners).

I hope I was clear in what HIIT really is and that I also applaud people who take the time to do FREE exercise videos for people to follow along. Just make sure that if you want to actually do a HIIT session that it is indeed what it says it is. Just ask yourself “is what I’m doing really HIIT or just high intensity?” Follow the major rule of HIIT and that is- high intensity exercise followed by lower intensity exercise.
 
Have fun with your HIIT sessions!
 
 Let me know what kinds of HIIT workouts you like to do!
 
 
References: *ACE https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/104/what-is-high-intensity-interval-training-hiit-and-what-are-the-benefits
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