Occasionally, you may feel that you don't have time to exercise, which might make you skip it. However, to see results, you don''t need to spend hours in the gym. You just need to maximize the time you spend exercising.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) usually involves a very hard time of about 30 seconds, followed by a break of between twice and four times that time. The phenomenon that occurs when we recover from this exercise is known as EPOC (Excessive Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or Excessive Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), which means a significant increase in oxygen consumption to replace the oxygen deficiency that occurs during HIIT -Training was triggered. This is a very important fact because you will actually be burning more calories once you are done exercising.
In addition to the fact that EPOC increases the number of calories we will burn without exercising, we save a lot of time because a HIIT session takes much less time than conventional aerobic exercise. In general, HIIT can save us up to half the time we would invest in exercises like the treadmill, elliptical machine, or stationary bike.
Another benefit is that HIIT increases our VO2 max much more than traditional cardiovascular training i.e. the amount of oxygen we can absorb. This means that if we do all kinds of exercises, we can last longer. This type of exercise also allows us to improve our circulatory function, lowers our total cholesterol levels, and reduces our risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In addition, HIIT involves an increase in hormones such as testosterone or growth hormone.
In HIIT, the duration, length, and frequency of the load depend on the person’s basic fitness level, the type of sport in which the training is to be carried out, and the desired goals. The following training plans are therefore only to be understood as examples and suggestions.
- Four to five sprints of 30 seconds each
- 4 to 5-minute breaks in between
- 40 to 60 minutes, three days a week
- Four rounds with four times 25 meters sprint
- Followed by a 10-second break each time
- Plus a series break of four minutes after each set of four
- Give (almost) full throttle for ten to 60 seconds
- Followed by a break of equal to four times the time of the stress phase
- A total of six to ten reps.
On the track, for example, intervals of six times 40 to 80 meters sprint and two to three minutes of walking or trotting would be possible for beginners.
High-intensity interval training has many advantages in terms of short learning curves, although we must keep in mind that they are far from easy. You should observe the following rules so that you do not overtax your body:
- Do not train one-sidedly: sports scientists advocate combining different training methods. Intensive forms of training should not account for more than 20 percent of the training.
- Never start cold: Warm up before the HIIT. It should definitely be at least ten minutes of easy trotting or warm-up exercises. Otherwise, there is a risk of strains or other injuries.
- Skip non-training days: After each training session, you should take a break of at least one or two days. The body only builds up its performance reserves during the training break. Without regeneration times there is no training effect with HIIT.
You can do many HIIT workouts at home. All you need is some space, suitable sportswear, and a fitness mat as a base. Moreover, as mentioned earlier the intervals highly depend on timing so having a good CrossFit timer app is a great addition to track WODs.