Obviously, everybody should take care of their bodies, this could be through home workouts, outdoor sports or hitting the gym. Unfortunately, many people ‘do not have time’ to workout. But have you ever considered HIIT? Today, you will learn more about this quick and awesome type of training.
What is HIIT?
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, this immediately explains in short what kind of training it is, interval training on a high intensity level. More specifically, HIIT consist of short, often 1 to 5 minutes, explosive movements which boost your heartbeat above 80% of your maximum. Furthermore, you should only take short periods of rest in between exercises. Examples of HIIT training are the 4-by-4 or the 10-by-1. The 4-by-4, includes a 10-minute warm up, followed by 4 sets of 4 minutes aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. In between sets you will have a 3-minute active rest in which you continue to run, cycle, swim, etc. but on a very low intensity. The 10-by-1, has a similar set up, it contains 10, 1-minute bursts of high intensity aerobic exercise followed by a 1-minute rest in between bursts. One training will take about 30 to 40 minutes of your time, including warming up and cooling-down.
How to do HIIT?
Interesting to know is that you will find a lot of HIIT workouts online and in magazines, promoted by celebrities. These workouts often mix aerobic exercises with strength resistance exercises. You could call these workouts HIIT but often do not make your heartbeat reach 80% of its maximum. All the research behind HIIT and its benefits is based on training at a minimum of 80% of your maximum heartbeat and therefore, the researched benefits of HIIT cannot be fully awarded towards these kinds of HIIT workouts.
Benefits of HIIT
Because HIIT works with a very high heartrate, it obviously has its biggest effects on the heart. Research has shown that HIIT improves your VO2Max, which is a measurement of maximum oxygen use in the body. The better VO2max, the better endurance you have. A better endurance extends the time before you get out of breath which means you can run, swim, cycle, sprint, etc. longer and faster! This also means that you have a healthier heart which lowers the risk of getting a heart disease.
Another research showed that doing 10-minute HIIT workouts for 12 weeks, gives you similar VO2max improvements as 50-minute steady state aerobic exercises for 12 weeks. This means that HIIT can give the same results in a much shorter time period.
And finally, one of the most promoted benefits of HIIT is the so-called ‘Afterburn’. The afterburn is a phenomenon which increases your metabolic rate 24 hours after your workout. This means that you will burn some extra calories compared to your normal metabolic rate. However, recent research has shown that this is overrated, the extra calories burnt during the ‘afterburn’ are very low compared to what you could do with reducing your calorie intake through dietary changes. Also, a 20-minute HIIT session will give the same ‘afterburn’ effect as a 50-minute continuous aerobic exercise.
Nonetheless, this still means that HIIT is time-efficient and can give similar effects in a shorter period of time compared to traditional aerobic exercises.
How to prepare for HIIT
Because HIIT can take a big toll on your body it is important to take proper care of your nutritional intake before and after HIIT workouts.Never forget to stay hydrated. You will sweat buckets during a HIIT workout! Drink enough water before, during and after a HIIT workout. Regarding the pre-workout meal, take some extra carbs and proteins. For example, some pasta and a MZ Whey Protein Shake. This is a great protein shake by MZ store which has a unique mix of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate.
Furthermore, to get an optimal mental mindset before a HIIT workout you could give a pre-workout a try. I recommend you give MZ Pre-workout a try!
It is a new product from Muscle Zone and gives you an energy boost, improves the transport of nutrients and delays the feeling of fatigue.
Afterwards, you should again consume carbs and proteins to replenish lost energy supplies and help repair your muscles. If you have taken a protein shake before the workout it is better to find a natural source for proteins such as eggs, meat, tempeh, etc. or try an Activlab High Whey Protein bar.
This protein bar is high in proteins and carbs, it stimulates muscle regeneration and it contains a fair share of vitamins and minerals!
HIIT training - summary
That was all for now, you have enough information to start with HIIT workouts, give them a try and see if it is something to structurally implement into your workout plan!
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments about this blog, we would love to hear them!
Written by Sven Nicholson | Online Personal Trainer @ www.healthychanges-pt.com