What Is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

By: Ben Basos

If you're just getting into the swing of training for the first time, then you might find an overload of new information and terms. It's important to get a basic understanding of these concepts. I found one of the most fundamental rules is the concept of high intensity interval training (HIIT). It essentially becomes a way to boost muscle growth and lose weight at an accelerated rate.
There has been a lot of interest in HIIT recently, with it gaining more popularity over the decades. It has one focus to make you lose weight and burn fat as quickly as possible. The effectiveness of this technique has been proven. One of the reasons is that it allows your body to recover saving energy, yet still strengthening your inner core. By splitting the exercises into multiple intervals, they often become easier by giving the body a short reprieve. The high intensity that follows with each set however, focuses on one on thing: muscle growth.

There are many types of High intensity interval training workouts. As the name implies, the key here is to work with high energy exercises for short periods of time. HIIT really has shown great success for those who stick by it. Keep in mind this type of training should only be attempted once you have some experience. They are intense work outs, and damage may result if you jump straight into something your body isn't ready for.

A big reason I say this is because after my first week of HIIT, I had muscle pains in areas I worked the night before. It took all my commitment to ensure I continued my exercises and push myself (safely) to my peak. One workout session I saw once was called the Tabata Protocol, and was perfect for HIIT. It revolves around a four-minute exercise that reaches high intensity levels and is often used by personal trainers.

Studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of HIIT using an ergometer. This measures the effectuality of these types of training programs, by having a cyclist pedal at high resistance levels in quick burst periods. Personal trainers love to flaunt the potency of HIIT, because it really does work. But it's something that needs to be eased into. Beginners may cause damage to their bodies, because these workouts are designed to really physically push the body.

If you are new to the concept of HIIT there are easier ways of entering this type of training. All exercise is hard, but you can start adapting with something like cycling using stationary bikes. This allows for high intensity pedalling, and during your interval rest period, recovery with slow cycling. If a bike is hard for you to obtain, you can try HIIT by running up and down stairs.

The main focus is to do an exercise hard and fast for a short period of time and then recover. Motivation just like all training, is again the key element needed in high intensity exercises.

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Ben Basos is the writer of the extremely popular Mission to Muscle blog which documented his 12 week transformation from flabby to fit. Ben also holds a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Human Movement studies and dedicates his time to keeping lean, fit and healthy. Read the full article on What Is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

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