High-Intensity Interval Training Basics
High-Intensity Interval Training alternates short bursts of pushing your body to its limits (70%-90% of your maximum heart rate) with shorter rest periods (60%-65% of your maximum heart rate). There isn’t a standard amount of time for the intervals. One program might have you work out 55 seconds and rest 5 seconds, while another has you workout 5 minutes and rest 1 minute.
How to handle your rest period also isn’t a prescribed. Some practitioners believe in complete stillness, while others think that low-intensity exercise like walking or stretching optimizes your routine. Keep in mind that your “intense” is not the same as the next persons. If you can speak during the more active phase of your workout, you need to ramp it up.
High-Intensity Interval Training distinguishes itself from weight lifting and steady state cardio by how often you can train. While steady state cardio and weight training can be done safely every day, HIIT should only be practiced a maximum of three times per week.
Pros of High-Intensity Interval Training
Due to the intensity of the training, this exercise paradigm demands only about 30 minutes of your time per work out, as opposed to the 60 minutes or more than a gentler exercise routine would ask of you.
In those 30 minutes, you are going to burn a lot of calories. You burn 9-13 calories per minute in a HIIT workout. Compare this to weight lifting and cardio, both of which burn about 1.5-3 calories per minute.
One of the greatest benefits that you’ll get from HIIT is that the practice will increase your VO2 max. This is how much oxygen your body is capable of consuming and a general health indicator.
HIIT at Home
HIIT is any exercise done with enough intensity and can be done anywhere. You don’t need to go to the gym or to buy any equipment. Your body weight is more than enough to build muscle doing jumping jacks, push ups, or squats.
Cons of High-Intensity Interval Training
As the name indicates, these are intense workouts. If you feel extremely uncomfortable while exercising, you may be unlikely to continue. You also may increase your risk of injury if you do not train slowly and progressively. You need to be particularly careful about your joints and ligaments when beginning a HIIT regime.
While HIIT can be demanding, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Consider downloading a HIIT at like Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout to give it a shot.