High Intensity Interval Training, most commonly known as HIIT cardio, is one of the most efficient ways to burn fat and improve your cardiovascular fitness. Not only does it come with a handful of amazing benefits, I have always found it to be less mind numbing than sitting on the bike or going on the cross trainer for 30 minutes staring at a wall!
How it works?
Research displays that it is possible to burn more calories and achieve more progress in completing only 15/20 minutes of HIIT training three times a week; over someone jogging on the treadmill for an hour at a lower intensity… If that isn’t a temptation to try some HIIT cardio then I don’t know what is!
According to the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting (2011) study, by participating in high-intensity intervals for 2 weeks (only 2 weeks!), your aerobic capacity will be improved as much as doing 6 – 8 weeks of endurance training.
What intensity should you be working at?
The intensity during HIIT training can range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long. This will be at 80% – 95% of an individuals estimated maximal heart rate. If you aren’t sure how to work out your max heart rate, simply use the calculation: 220 – your age. This is one of the most popular ways to calculate maximum heart rate as it’s easy and reasonably accurate for most people.
Good indicators as to how hard you are working: You SHOULD be sweating and feel out of breath, and the work intervals will feel ‘hard’ to ‘very hard’. Minimal rest (I would advise 30 seconds – 60 seconds) will ensure your heart rate doesn’t drop, and you achieve the best results possible!