HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training has recently been keeping the fitness world abuzz with experts vouching for its efficacy and enthusiasts playing around with their fitness regime trying to fit in this grueling form. The term itself suggests the involvement of an intensive, rigorous workout plan; however the training stands for much more and goes beyond the conventional idea of an exhausting workout. So, what is HIIT all about?
HIIT collectively stands for High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) and Sprint Interval Training (SIT). The training involves short, intermittent blasts of exercises which aim at raising your heart rate. Anyone can perform HIIT routines. You can do them with zero equipment in the comfort of your home or at a nearby park.
Image via BodyPowerWhy HIIT?
Because the benefits are diverse and manifold. Let's take a look:
1. Increases Your Metabolism
High intensity, when combined with interval training, results in EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption), which speeds the metabolic rate and "activates a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine," says Eric Salvador, NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) and Head instructor, The Fitting Room in New York City. While people on cardio training manage to work up 60-70% of their capacity, HIIT pushes you to around 90% of your maximum, facilitating rapid and greater calorie loss, even after you have finished working out.
2. Quick and Convenient
We all keep busy with very little time left at hand. HIIT workouts are quick, short and effective. Exercise from anywhere, for all you need is 20-30 minutes and some motivation. Not all that bad, isn't it?
3. No Equipment Necessary
No dumbbells? No problem! HIIT workouts mostly include exercises and techniques that use only your body weight. As mentioned above, the training aims at speeding up your heart and sustaining it at the same rate for a while. This workout module results in "optimal muscle building and muscle retention coupled with fat loss and increased calorie burn," says Salvador.
BodyPower got in touch with Tim and Marie - workout buddies who have seen their health and strength improve by training with weights and HIIT routines. "We do our HIIT after weight training. We have various routines but this is our toughest one that is ideal, especially after the festive season. We call it 'The Twelve HIITs of Christmas' which contains 12 different exercises to be performed for 10 seconds each. Repeat the entire HIIT workout at least 7 - 10 times," they shared.
Tim and Marie's HIIT workout plan includes 10 seconds of 12 different exercises done without any rest in between. Start with chins or pull-ups, spiderman, jumping jacks traversing your way through mountain climbers, weighted leg raises, bearing with barbell crunches, spinning squats and finally closing with power squats off step, weighted lunges off step, push-ups off bench, vertical and horizontal leg raises and burpees.
In case you aren't quite well versed with some or most of the above mentioned exercises, fret not! Watch the fitness duo perform the entire set of the HIIT routine, jot down the nuances of each activity and get down to some serious, high-intensity, flab-blasting working out.