Its true folks! HIIT (high intensity interval training) for fat loss works! But despite all the recent rage, this training method is far from new. This short intense style of training was put to test back in 1954 when Roger Bannister of Britain ran a sub 4-minute mile. The best part was that Roger was an Amateur, he was a working man busy with medical studies and only had his lunch time to train in hopes to break a world record.

His training consisted of 10 quarter mile intervals at race pace (59 seconds) with 2 minutes recovery between each. This training structure didn’t have a fancy scientific label at the time but now we’ve termed this training style, Interval Training and today more often heard of as HIIT! Despite being an old training style, more recent interest has sparked due to its shown fat burning effects, efficiency and adaptability to many different lifestyles. The benefits of HIIT have shown to be similar to those of long steady state cardio making it ideal for even the busiest person.

HIIT involves short bursts of maximal exercise effort followed by short sometimes active recovery periods. In order to obtain the true benefits, one must work 80-100% effort during the short exercise periods. This means you have to get after it! Give it all you have and be prepared to feel slightly uncomfortable. For most of us this sounds scary and its generally that fear of having to work to exhaustion that steers us to a more long steady lower intensity (comfortable) form of exercise.

Traditional cardio still holds immense value but for those looking to shed some fat and train for shorter periods of time, HIIT can yield the same outcome for less time. This form of training allows muscle glycogen (sugar) to cleave off on the spot to be quickly metabolized as energy. This means that upon release, this energy is not recirculated in the blood stream but rather used on the spot. HIIT also contributes to the activation of hormones sensitive lipase. Hormone sensitive lipase is the enzyme our body uses to metabolize fatty acids (break down fat and use it as energy). On top of its role in using fat as a fuel source, HIIT also helps restore insulin sensitivity therefore allowing us to target stubborn areas.

Unfortunately, HIIT is an intense form of training that requires a good understanding of fundamentals to avoid higher risk of injury . Before starting this type of training, it is important to determine your readiness. Consult with your physician to verify you are in good shape for participation in physical activity. Also important, work with a coach to establish proper movement patterns and supervise form during your training. There are ways to practice safe HIIT training and if you are looking to get started here are some ways you can begin to implement HIIT into your routine.

5 types if Interval Training

Sprints
This can be done on a treadmill or a track. You can use time intervals or segments of distance. This method is a little more advanced, sprinting at high effort makes it difficult to maintain proper form. For this type of exercise warm up is crucial. DO NOT SKIP YOUR WARM UP/MOVEMENT PREP! Dedicate at least 5-10 minutes of dynamic hamstring stretches, A- Skips or other movements that are quick and mimic running patterns. In order to sprint at the intensity needed it is also important that you take full advantage of your rest periods!

What to do:
7 rounds 100m sprints walking back to the start
OR
5-8 rounds on treadmill 20 seconds active 40 seconds rest

Stationary bike

Again this method uses timed intervals or segments of distance. In comparison to springing using the stationary bike makes It easier to maintain form. Opt of this method if you are a novice to sprinting or you are carrying a bit more body mass. Before bringing adjust the seat accordingly and set a resistance on the bike that allows you to be in control.

What to do:
Complete a 3 min warm up
Bike as fast as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds
OR
Bike as fast as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 90 seconds
Complete between 5-8 rounds

Jump Rope

This one is great to incorporate into a home work out because it requires minimal equipment.

What to do:
Complete a 3 min warm up
Jump as fast as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 40 seconds
OR
Jump as fast as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 90 seconds
Complete between 5-8 rounds

*Once you have mastered the basic jump rope try single leg or double unders for a more advanced version.

Fartlek “speed play”

You are never too old to play tag. This method is all about variation and changing tempo. For those of you that have children this is a perfect way to include the entire family. Essentially you want to include a combination of walking , jogging and sprinting

What to do:
Select a location and distance (track, park, neighborhood)
Run, walk and sprint
Complete a total of 20 mins varying the activity

Tabata

This style of interval training has become very popular because it is super time efficient!! We are talking minutes. The neat thing about tabata is that you can vary the exercises you do and if you can use all body weight exercises if you choose to. Pick a few exercises; push up, body weight squat, burpees, jumping jacks, bicep curls etc.

What you do:
Perform exercise all out for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of 4 minutes.

Incorporate HIIT into your regular fitness routine, and if you ever have any questions, give us a shout here for help!