Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What is HIIT?

HIIT is the acronym for High Intensity Interval Training.  HIIT is any workout that alternates short periods of intense exercise with recovery periods.  For example: combining five cycles of one-minute intense periods with two-minutes of recovery will total a fifteen minute HIIT workout.

But any workout has be beneficial (especially if it includes the word "intensity" in the title) or you won't do it.  So, what are the benefits of HIIT workouts?

  1. Efficiency.  These workouts will get you in and out a lot faster than traditional "steady state" workouts. The shorter sessions will burn more calories and get you in better shape than a much longer session on the treadmill. 
  2. Maintain Your Muscles.  Doing a HIIT routine instead of traditional cardio will help you maintain muscle.  And guess what muscle does?  It burns more calories, even at rest.  So if you want to lose weight, HIIT can help.
  3. No Equipment Needed.  This is a body weight only exercise.  Since you are pushing yourself hard, equipment will only get in the way.  You don't have to purchase an expensive piece of equipment that will become a coat hanger in three months - just do HIIT!
Where do you get started with HIIT?  Check out a free DVD from your library, of course! 

10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training demonstrates five 10-minute HIIT workouts.  They are intense, but remember they are short, so the pain will not last for long.  Each workout has a unique design, so you will have variety with this DVD.

UFit by Cindy Whitmarsh is a hybrid of HIIT, as it incorporates weights.  There are periods of intense cardio, but Cindy uses weights during recovery to perform toning exercises.  There are two 20-minute segments: Upper Body Bliss and Lower Body Blast.

One of the toughest interval workouts is Insanity.  That is because its intensity/recovery intervals are inverted.  The intense work intervals are longer than traditional HIIT, with shorter recovery periods.   For extreme results, millions believe in this method.  Your library has the Insanity 10 DVD set.

Now that you have some options, choose a DVD and HIIT it!

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