What is HIIT interval training, and why is it so effective? As the name suggests, HIIT interval training is high-intensity interval training. Interval training includes phases of recovery and degrees of exertion.

This training is highly performance-enhancing and shows apparent success in increasing endurance, weight loss and muscle building.

The essential facts in brief

  • HIIT means “high-intensity interval training”, i.e. 
  • During training, the body is exposed to a high level of stress for a certain period, which is then immediately relieved again
  • HIIT interval training gives you better results in less time

Definition: What is HIIT interval training?

HIIT training consists of short training units, or “intervals,” rather than extensive periods of endurance training, as in traditional cardio training.

The exercises in these intervals are short and vigorous, and they usually concentrate on a single body area. Your muscles are allowed to relax during this period of letting go.

As a starting point, a high heart rate and a boosted metabolism are two factors that contribute to the workout’s success. 

The Tabata workout approach, for example, is part of HIIT. This mixes aerobic and weight training in a series of eight 20-second intervals.

HIIT may help you burn more calories than traditional exercise or burn the same number of calories in a shorter amount of time.

HIIT vs HIT: What’s the difference?

We just went over HIIT is known as HIIT. It’s a fast-paced, high-intensity exercise. On the other hand, HIT stands for high-intensity training and is a strength training technique.

Increased intensity loads the muscle to the point of exhaustion. You push yourself to the maximum in training, even though you’ve already completed all the repetitions.

Background: What you need to know about HIIT interval training

Now that we’ve clarified what HIIT interval training is, here’s some important background information you should know about the subject.

What is the duration of a HIIT workout?

It’s easier to start and progress with your training. You start with shorter exercise intervals. You can set a work-to-recovery ratio of 1:3 as a benchmark. 

As you improve your fitness levels aim for a final balance of 2:1, where you push your performance twice as long as your recovery phase . 

A training session should last between 15 and 25 minutes. HIIT should be a supplement to the usual 30 to 45-minutes cardio session.

How do I design interval training?

If you’ve decided to do HIIT interval training, the first question on your mind will be, “How do I get started?” We have the answer! Start with a simple warm-up; you can do jumping jacks, rock climbers, or knee lifts when you get home.

On the other hand, if you focus on sprint HIIT sessions, you should warm up by jogging for 10 minutes at a relaxing pace. Depending on how advanced you are, this phase varies over time. 

Then you have another relief phase where you can catch your breath. You repeat these two phases 8 to 10 times, depending on how fit you are. 

Finally, there is the cool-down, in which you reduce the load and lower your heart rate.

Once you’ve done a sprint HIIT, you can proceed the same way as for the warm-up. When you’re at home, stretching and stretching is another excellent option. Exercises to look out for include the mountain climber, push-ups in various rows, or sumo squats. 

All these exercises challenge your entire body and strengthen the muscles.

HIIT interval training: practical application and benefits

We will show you certain benefits of HIIT interval training and essential aspects to consider when using it.

What are the benefits of HIIT interval training?

HIIT interval training promises better results in less time. This statement is based (among other things), on the afterburn effect, which ensures that your body continues to work after training.

In addition to sufficient training, diet, stress and body temperature also influence the extent of the effect. Up to 15% of extra energy can be burned after exercise.

This effect is caused by increased oxygen consumption, which increases the total energy expenditure after exercise for a short period. The afterburning effect can be divided into different phases, lasting from a few hours after training to one or two days after.

Which HIIT exercises are suitable at home?

You can also do your first HIIT exercises at home. Whether it’s your stomach, legs or buttocks, you’ll find unique activities for every part of your body that can push you to the limit. But in many cases, different muscle groups interact – for example, the supporting muscles, which are strengthened at the same time if performed correctly.

The right nutrition

It would be more than utopian if the pounds just fell off without the right and balanced diet because success is usually firmly linked to that. 

A balanced diet means eliminating unhealthy, fattening foods from everyday life in the long term. This includes sweets and very fatty foods such as pizza. 

Not only your body but also your skin will thank you for it.

Protein shakes are an excellent alternative to getting enough protein after training. There are numerous tastes to choose from, so everyone can find something they enjoy.

After a HIIT workout, it is advisable to have a protein-rich post-workout meal and avoid carbs, which hinder fat metabolism, to maximize fat loss.

Avoid overload

Even if you want to lose weight quickly, you should not train too much and give your body a break now and then. 

Note that the afterburning effect can last up to two days. Your body continues to work after your training session, and you get closer to your goal.

At the same time, you should be aware that if you overload your body, it loses performance, and you can no longer train to the limit, as is the case with HIIT training. Consequently, you will be much more hostile to your goals and lose motivation without recovery time because successes are no longer visible.

5 tips for HIIT interval training beginners

If you want to start with HIIT interval training, we have listed five essential tips that you should consider before beginning training.

Warming up and stretching Even if you want to start training right away, you should always warm-up. This prevents injuries and improves your performance during training. You should also never neglect stretching after a successful training session. This contains sore muscles and strains.

As we explained above, it’s essential to start your training slowly. Build up your fitness before increasing the intensity. Initially, your rest period should be longer than your training period. This helps your body get used to the new training method. You should also start with light weights and increase them slowly.

Pay attention to technique Because HIIT is often speedy, you should pay attention to the method of the exercises before you start. Memorize them, practice at a slow pace, and then begin the actual training. This guarantees that you perform the exercise correctly and work for the right muscle groups, even at a fast training pace.

Add Variety Even a quick workout like HIIT can get monotonous in the long run. So add some variety and alternate the exercises. This also guarantees that you do not always train the same muscle groups but the whole body.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve got a lot of information, we want to give you a quick summary of all the essential things you need to consider. On the one hand, your motivation is of the highest priority if you try to achieve your maximum performance over a long period.

However, you should also be aware that you have to allow yourself and your body a recovery time. 

You continue to have an increased metabolism due to the afterburning effect. 

A balanced diet is just as important as training. Protein intake can help you achieve this.

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