What is HIIT?
High-intensity interval training or HIIT training is a method of exercise where you perform short bursts of physical activity followed by a rest period.
The ratio of active period (high intensity) and rest period (low intensity) will vary depending on your goals and training needs.
Power athletes will often perform shorter high intense periods of HIIT training (5 sec – 30 sec). Endurance athletes will extend the intensity periods (30 sec – 8 min).
A common active to rest ratio is 1:1. For example, you would follow a period of high intense activity for 30 seconds with a rest period of the same duration.
You can change the rest to active ratio and the level in you wish to perform at. However, you must remember that during the active period, it needs to be challenging and kept at a high intensity.
Related: Guide to Running Workouts
What are the Benefits?
If performed correctly, HIIT workouts can burn more calories than cardio workouts due to something called the ‘after-burn’ effect.
Although low intensity cardio will burn more calories during the performance of the exercise, HIIT workouts continue to burn calories after the session has ended. This is due to your metabolism still being ramped up.
HIIT workouts can actually increase your human growth hormone. This is responsible for how many calories you burn. Calories burned can increase up to 450% for 24 hours after completing the workout.
This form of exercise is also a versatile form of training depending on which option you take and equipment may not always be required. It can be performed in a wide range of the activities and in most environments.
Check out the following videos for some examples of different types of workouts:
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