If you’re a regular at the gym, you’ve probably noticed that everyone is talking about high intensity workouts. There’s no doubt that they’re good for you, but what exactly are they all about? And how are they different to a regular workout?
High Intensity Training, often shortened to HIIT, is all about interval training – a combination of intense bursts of activity with short recovery breaks in between. It’s known for its weight-loss abilities that help your body continue to burn fat long after you’ve left the gym. Because you’re constantly changing your pace, switching from all-out exercise for a few minutes, then slowing down to recover before starting all over again, you burn a lot more calories than if you stick to a steady rate. The secret is to go all out – push yourself to the absolute limit – during those high intensity intervals (that can last from 30 seconds to five minutes) then use your down time to regroup and go again.
Many gym classes at Fitness First incorporate this High Intensity Training into their programmes. Classes such as BEAT are designed to get your heart rate up to your ideal level so that you’re getting the most out of your workout. BEAT beginners can start with ‘Move Better’ which takes you up to 65% of your personal heart rate capacity with body weight and functional training exercises. From there, you can work your way up to BEAT HIIT Pro where you push yourself to 90% of your heart rate by alternating periods of high intensity dynamic and explosive exercises with shorter recovery intervals. It can be difficult, but you’ll definitely see results after a few sessions.
One of the best things about High Intensity Training is that you’re in control of your own pace. You’ve only got yourself as competition so you can go as hard as you feel you can. The exercises change all the time so you never get bored – you can mix and match your programme depending on what you (or your trainer) want to do. Exercises can include bursts of running, squats, push-ups, jumping jacks, lunges and sit-ups, and you can also incorporate short reps of weights into the mix. Try HIIT today, you won’t be disappointed!