Tag Archives: HIIT

5 Reasons to Do Interval Training

Interval training is an important part of any training plan.  Whether you practice high intensity interval training (HIIT) in the gym or speed work sessions on the track, interval training has many benefits for any level athlete.  Here are 5 reasons you’ll want to include interval training in your event preparation plan.interval training

  • You’ll burn more calories.  The challenge of a tough interval workout burns more calories than a steady state run but your body will also by busy burning calories to repair damaged muscles for hours following the session.
  • Intervals increase lactic acid threshold.  Produced by anaerobic activity during high intensity activity, lactic acid needs to be broken down for muscles to function properly.  Trading moments of lactic acid build up with lactic acid breakdown teaches the body to become more efficient at breaking lactic acid down.  This results in the body adapting to handle higher levels of activity for longer periods of time before becoming fatigued.
  • Intervals have been proven to increase fat-free mass, aerobic power, blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity.  They also provide a massive increase in human growth hormone (HGH) which is responsible for increased caloric burn and can help slow the aging process.
  • You’ll break through a barrier.  If it’s weight loss, the additional calorie burn from an interval workout can help.  If you’re looking to run or cycle faster, the increased rate of turnover during a fast interval can get your body get used to moving those legs fast.  If you want to be able to work at a steady state for a longer time, the benefits to your cardiovascular system will make longer, slower efforts easier.
  • Intervals are fun!  Using varied interval workouts prevents boredom and is a great way to judge progress.  You can do high intensity training anywhere, with or without equipment and without a big time commitment.  A thirty minute high intensity interval workout will garner the same benefits as a two hour long steady state endurance workout.

Everyone can reap benefits from interval training. Need help adding interval training to your plan?  Ask us!

Coach Meredith

Benefits of Interval Training (HIIT)

High intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, is a great way to get the most from limited work out time.  HIIT workouts can range from taking four minutes to thirty, plus a warm up and cool down if it’s short and including them if you’re working out a little longer.  While HIIT is great for those who are short on time, it’s also a great weight loss tool, a fun way to keep workouts mixed up, and there is no equipment required.

HIIT involves alternating periods of maximal exertion with periods of rest.  Work and rest should occur in a 2:1 ratio with the intensity mimicking that ratio.  Work period should be at maximal, 100% efforts while rests should be at 50% effort.  A great example is sprinting for one minute then walking for thirty seconds and repeating.  A popular form of HIIT known as Tabata training was created by Izumi Tabata and uses cycles of 20 seconds of intense activity partnered with 10 seconds of rest between sets for 8 rounds (notice the optimal 2:1 ratio of these intervals), and one round should take four minutes.

The ultimate goal of interval training is to bring your heart rate up and down repeatedly, leading to increased cardiovascular capacity, increased insulin sensitivity, increased lactate threshold, decreased recovery time and numerous studies have demonstrated that HIIT increases resting metabolic rate (RMR)  leads to improvements in athletic performance.  HIIT’s maximal exertion pushes you into the anaerobic training zone, which isn’t a place steady state workouts visit.  Steady state exercise, such as a long walk or hour on the elliptical causes your body to burn more fat than glycogen, but when trying to lose weight, the goal is to burn the most total fat.  Interval training gives you rest periods which allow you to perform at a maximal rate for longer length of time than steady state activities, so you will burn more total fat by using HIIT.   This is great for burning fat because it throws your body into super repair mode and helps jump start your metabolism. During the up to 24 hours post workout your muscles are working to repair themselves, human growth hormone (HGH) production increases, leading to increased burning of calories and possibly slowing the aging process.

The best benefit of HIIT is that you don’t need a gym or any equipment other than yourself to get it done.  Anything and everything, including running, jumping, jumping rope, air squats, burpees, lunges, push-ups, and sit-ups can all be used to do interval training.  So get out there and give it a try!

Have questions about working HIIT into your routine or what kind of exercises might be best for you?  Ask us through email at Info@FitNicePT.com