Today we are going to cover High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). You've probably heard about HIIT a lot these days because it is being used in a lot of programs for fat loss. Smart trainers know that it is much more effective than regular slow, boring cardio, and you actually get results as compared to other cardio workouts where you aren't seeing any results at all.
So HIIT means any type of sprint exercise that lasts from about 0-90 seconds. Anything longer than 2 minutes can get into what is known as aerobic interval training. Therefore, normally you want to sprint for 15, 30 or even 45 seconds, after which time you go down to a very easy period of exercise. That is one of the biggest mistakes most people make when doing interval training. Many people don't drop the intensity down low enough during the recovery period.
For example, if you are going at 10 mph and you only drop down to 8 mph then in effect you're really still doing cardio and not high intensity interval training. You will not allow you body to sufficiently recover from the sprint portion and so you won't be able to sprint hard at 10 mph the next time around.
So, you want to make sure you are going from hard to easy, or going from a sprint to a walk. It is okay to walk in interval training as this will allow you to work really hard and thus provide you with all the benefits of HIIT.
Here is an example of a high intensity interval training workout. Start out with a 5-10 minute warm-up and then jump into a high intensity interval where you can't possibly maintain a pace longer than 30-45 seconds. After 45 seconds, take the intensity down to a very low recovery walking pace. It doesn't matter if you are sprinting at 8, 10 or 12 mph, you still need to come down to the walking pace. That would classify as one interval, and you will do about 6 in a workout, finishing with a cooldown.
That is high intensity interval training, and it will get you more results in terms of your fat loss program and in sport specific conditioning, as well as fitter for everyday activities.
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