It’s Wednesday already! This week is flying by. I’m pretty happy that’s the case because it’s my last week of classes. This semester as flown by, it’s hard to believe that finals are next week already. It’ll be very nice to have a few weeks off before spring semester classes begin.

Today I thought I’d share a bit about high intensity interval training, otherwise known as HIIT. I’m sure you’ve heard about it, as it’s really popular in the fitness world right now. You can find classes at gyms that focus just on HIIT. There are even fitness chains built on the idea of HIIT workouts.

 High Intensity Interval Training 101

What is HIIT // In short, HIIT workouts involve periods of exercising as hard as you can with active recovery. Before you get worried, the periods of hard work are short. We’re talking as short as 20 seconds and as long as 45 seconds. Just as the work period can vary, so can the rest period. Here are some examples:

  • 20 seconds of work; 10 seconds of rest
  • 30 seconds of work; 30 seconds of rest
  • 40 seconds of work; 20 seconds of rest
  • 45 seconds of work; 15 seconds of rest

Tabatas are a specific kind of HIIT workout. They’re only 4 minutes long and the intervals are 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest (8 rounds). They’re named tabatas after the creator, a Japanese professor who worked with speed skaters.

Length of HIIT workouts // If you’re short on time, HIIT workouts are perfect. They’re usually short – under 30 minutes. Because you’re working at a higher intensity than you usually would with other workouts, it doesn’t have to be as long. You get the same benefits of working out as a longer workout but in less time.

Who are HIIT workouts for? // HIIT workouts ban be pretty tough, so you do need a basic level of fitness before giving them a try. I wouldn’t recommend them for beginners. Because you’re going for so hard at a high intensity, you’re more likely to get fatigued. When this happens you’re more at risk of injuries. Having a higher fitness level helps to keep injuries at bay during HIIT workouts.

HIIT workouts // Interested in trying out a HIIT workout? Here are some to test out:

Lower body HIIT workout

Full body workout

HIIT scorcher from The Fitnessista

Full body at home HIIT workout from Life in Leggings

20 minute at home HIIT workout from Pumps and Iron

High Intensity Interval Training 101