Hiit, more results in less time
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)) is in vogue as an effective fat-burning workout that also requires less time than conventional training.
In this post we will analyze its real benefits and how to apply it in practice.
What is HIIT?
High intensity interval training consists of interspersing short periods of very intense exercise work at around 80-90% of our maximum heart rate with periods of low intensity recovery or total rest.
There are many ways to do HIIT training, but regardless of the exercise, the rationale is the same, alternating short periods of high intensity with short breaks.
A well-known example of HIIT is the Tabata.
Benefits of HIIT
- Improved glucose utilization and as a result there is an improvement in resistance.
- Burns more calories thanks to the EPOC effect, the body maintains a high metabolism for a few hours after training and continues to burn more calories at rest.
- It helps maintain muscle mass, whereas too much cardio can interfere with muscle gain.
- Improves body composition and this favors the improvement of performance, since carrying excess fat is only a burden for the athlete.
- Efficiency of time invested in training with respect to gains.
Disadvantages of HIIT
This type of training has many positive points, but reducing our training to this type of exercise alone is not complete.
Choosing exercises while doing is enough to stay active, but it is not the best way to achieve specific goals or improve your performance efficiently. It is not the miracle for improving body composition or developing your physical capabilities as an athlete.
The best, is to take advantage of the benefits of HIIT and to include it in the structure of a complete program.
Here you can read an article about how i lost 5 kilos in 6 weeks following a pattern of training and diet.
If you train in a CrossFit box you will have already noticed that many of the trainings are HIIT type.
If you want to introduce them into your gym routine you can do it in the following way.
You can do HIIT with cardio exercises such as running, cycling, elliptical, rowing... But you can also do it with burpees, squats, kettlebell swings, any weight lifting or a combination of several exercises.
It is important to select exercises that involve multiple muscles and can be performed at high intensity. There is no point in doing a HIIT of an analytical exercise such as quadriceps extension, triceps kick or biceps curl.
20-40 seconds of work + 10-20 seconds of rest.
Repeating series of 10-12 intervals until completing about 30 minutes in total.
How many times a week
It will depend on your objectives:
- If you are a mainly sedentary person, including 3 sessions a week can offer multiple benefits over not doing any type of physical activity.
- If you are an endurance athlete, you can do 1 or 2 sessions per week to help your performance.
- If you are a strength athlete, one HIIT session a week will help you burn more fat and improve your aerobic capacity.
Example HIIT routine:
3 rounds of:
10 kettlebell swings
1 min plank
1 minute break between rounds
The principle of progressive overload must be applied in all training sessions to do to avoid the famous plateau.
The way to ensure constant improvement is to gradually increase the intensity and this can be done in different ways:
Adding additional intervals
You can start here, but there comes a point when adding more time doesn't make sense because it will force you to reduce intensity, the main goal of these routines.
Also because it will no longer be a short routine. Do not exceed 10-12 intervals.
In this way, we do not lengthen the routine, but it also has its but.
At a certain point, further reducing rest will start to be detrimental, as it will negatively affect the intensity in the next interval.
It will be the best way to always find a more difficult path than the previous session.
Example: more speed or inclination in the case of sprints, more difficult exercises, more weight ...
HIIT for beginners
If you try to do this routine and find that it is too demanding, it is normal. Remember that it is a high intensity training As the name says, you have to be able to tell that it's a serious job. But you have to be able to pull it off, otherwise there's no point.
- Use adaptations so you can do HIIT.
- It is recommended that you spend more time resting than training.
- You can start by dedicating the same amount of time to it or even, if necessary, that the time spent working is longer than the time spent resting.
- Gradually change the proportions to equalize them and later be able to do twice as much work as rest.