You work out. A lot. But sometimes though, just lifting weights or running endless miles isn’t enough. Thankfully. there’s more than one way to sweat in the gym. One of the keys to weight loss is the intensity of the workout. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a solution for those looking for more impressive results.
What is HIIT?
HIIT combines anaerobic (without oxygen) and aerobic (with oxygen) exercises, so it’s much harder to get bored with a routine or for your body to “adapt.” It’s concept behind popular workout regimens like P90X that preach muscle confusion as the key to maximizing workouts. As the name suggests, HIIT utilizes low- to medium-intensity movement in contrast with high-intensity. For example, thirty seconds of sprinting could be followed with 30 seconds of lunges or squats, ending with a fifteen or thirty second rest period.
Typical sessions range from twenty to sixty minutes.
The negligible differences seems to suggest that perhaps the greatest advantage of HIIT is for lifestyles. High-intensity workouts can be done in compressed amounts of time, making it perfect for those struggling with scheduling.
The low-impact and adaptable nature of HIIT makes it perfect for most ages, although those with pre-existing health conditions should consult a doctor before beginning workouts.
However, compared to steady-state exercise the effects of HIIT doesn’t yield significant gains, says a Journal of Sports Science study. Also, due to the increased workload, your body will require more recovery time, making daily HIIT a potentially harmful workout.
To help jumpstart your HIIT plan and goals, here’s a sample schedule to help you visualize what your weekly workout could look like.
Sunday – Rest
Monday – AM HIIT
Tuesday – Weight Training
Wednesday – PM HIIT
Thursday – Cardio
Friday – AM or PM HIIT
Saturday – Rest