The benefits of HIIT

If you aren't aware, HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. Doing short bursts of high intensity exercises followed by an active recovery is a great way to see results in strength, speed, and physique!

The intense work periods may range from 5 seconds to 8 minutes long and are performed at 80% to 95% of your estimated maximum heart rate. The recovery periods may last equally as long and are usually performed at 40% to 50% of a persons estimated maximum heart rate. You should alternate between high intensity and low intensity for 20-60 minutes total.


HIIT training has been shown to improve:
• aerobic and anaerobic fitness
• blood pressure
• cardiovascular health
• insulin sensitivity (which helps the exercising
muscles more readily use glucose for fuel to
make energy)
• cholesterol profiles
• abdominal fat and body weight while
maintaining muscle mass. 

HIIT is incredibly popular these days!

The beauty of HIIT is that it can be modified to people of all fitness levels since its based on your specific heart rate. It can be performed by all fitness models such as cycling, running, swimming, and many group exercise classes. 

Another huge benefit  of HIIT is the post exercise period called "EPOC" which stands for excess post exercise oxygen consumption. This is generally about a 2 hour period post exercises where the body is restoring itself to pre-exercise levels, and thus using more energy. Because of the vigorous contractile nature of HIIT workouts, the EPOC generally tends to be modestly greater, adding about 6-15% more calories to the overall workout energy expenditure.

This is the beauty of Circuit Works and the heart rate monitor system! We like to dip you in and out of the red zone, where you reach your maximum heart rate, for less than a minute, and then let you recover during breaks and your resistance stations. This is HIIT at its finest. Wearing a heart rate monitor takes all the guess work out of it! 

So if I can't make it into Circuit Works, what types of HIIT can I do on my own?

You can go outside and do running and sprinting on your own. Set a goal that works for you. It could be 30 seconds to a minute of all out sprints, with a minute recovery. You could repeat this for 20 minutes to an hour. The same can apply to swimming or cycling. The point is the bring the heart rate up, and then let it recover! 

It's fun, smart, and effective. 

Sources: ACSM