HIIT workouts for cardio have become the greatest method to help people in the fitness community lose weight to become ready for competitions. However, some people don’t exactly know what a HIIT workout truly is and how to set one up.
This article will tell you what HIIT is and how you can set up your own workouts to perform on a regular basis to get into the shape you desire. It is also important to note that although HIIT workouts are the most effective method of cardio for fat loss, they may not be suitable for those who might have any heart conditions or suffer from asthmatic issues. If you do have asthma and wish to perform HIIT routines, use an inhaler before you begin your workout and keep it close to hand during your entire routine in case it becomes needed.
High Intensity Interval Training
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. This form of cardio has been scientifically proven to be the most effective form of cardio or training to help lose fat at the fastest rate possible while still preserving the most muscle tissue in the body while competitors are in a caloric deficit state of being.
HIIT workouts aren’t long, boring workouts as many people who use treadmills or elliptical are used to. Instead, HIIT workouts which can be performed via running on a track, treadmill, spin bike, and any other form of cardiovascular exercise, and are usually short workout sessions that involve a constant, repetitive change in pace from low intensity exercise to high intensity exercise for a short duration of time.
Performing a HIIT Routine
Typically, when people perform a HIIT routine, they find a method of exercise in which they prefer, and they will perform sprints at 100% maximum intensity for a duration of 10-30 seconds, followed by a lower intensity pace to recover for a duration of 1-5 minutes. This is then repeated by the individual for as many times as the person desires in order to reach the total amount of calories the person is wanting to burn.
An example of how I would set up a HIIT workout for myself while I’m trying to drop weight during a cut or diet restriction phase would be as the example follows:
- Start up on the Elliptical or Spin Bike as these are the easiest machines to perform a HIIT workout on. You can use the treadmill but I have found that the treadmill is a little more difficult to perform a HIIT workout and is best used to steady state cardio or LISS.
- Perform a quick 2-3 minute warm up to get the blood flowing and get the body warmed up to prevent any injury.
- Once you a warmed up you will start your workout with the first interval, which can last anywhere between 10-30 seconds. This short duration should be a sprint performed at 100% or maximum intensity.
- After this sprint interval is finished, you perform a rest interval at a much lower, more moderate intensity that will last between 30 seconds-2 minutes. I usually perform a 30 second rest for every 10 seconds of sprinting during a HIIT workout as this helps the body maintain a high heart rate for the entire duration of the workout.
After each interval, you should feel almost completely exhausted if you performed it correctly at maximum intensity – this is how you know your body is reaching its maximum heart rate required for a proper HIIT workout. By the end of multiple intervals lasting a total duration of 10-30 minutes, you should be left in a state of being in which your body has little to no energy left to perform any further exercise.
After Your HIIT Workout
After you finish a HIIT workout, give the body some rest from exercise and follow up your workout with a meal or protein shake to help the body replenish the nutrients that was just used up to perform those sprints. You should also drink plenty of water before and after your workout to help prevent dehydration as it is easy to sweat out lots of water weight during a proper HIIT workout. This will help you to avoid feeling light-headed and prevent any possible injuries that may occur from dehydration.
You should also make sure that you stretch your body thoroughly before and after each workout to avoid any possible muscle crumps or spasms, as well as any possible chances of injury that may be caused by tight ligaments being trained at too high of an intensity or strain for an extended period of time.
Now that you know what HIIT workouts are, how to set one up for yourself and how to get the most out of a HIIT workout, go ahead and try one the next time you step into a gym or go for a run. I promise that by the end of a quick 15-20 minutes, you will be left sweating more than you are used to and left in a state of being in which you feel as if you have just accomplished an amazing workout.