Don’t let burpees put you off. High intensity interval training workouts are great for a lot of reasons — they’re quick and efficient, fantastic for improving cardio and strength, they’re one of the best workouts for weight loss, and can even help your mood. Read on and prepare to sweat
For many of us the perfect workout used to consist of heavy weights, clanking iron, and long breaks of rest in between exercises. But with the closure of gyms, and limited space and access to equipment, it can be hard to achieve a workout at the intensity you’re used to.
HIIT, also known as High Intensity Training, is a training session made up of hard, short bursts of activity. The good news is, if you don’t have access to much equipment - a session can be as simple as using your body weight in your living room, garden or park. HIIT workouts have been shown to be as beneficial for improving your fitness levels, burning fat and breaking a sweat.
There’s plenty more benefits too
Research shows that short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods is not only good at reducing blood sugar levels and resting heart rate, but can also boost energy levels and brain power too. Researchers at the University of Turku in Finland also found HIIT workouts can be affective for boosting the neurotransmitter dopamine, which diminishes the feelings of low mood, and depression. What’s that saying? You never regret a workout?
Maximising your HIIT rate
Typically, HIIT involves a period of exercise such as 60 seconds near your peak ability, followed by a recovery period. This is best repeated for 20 minutes and performed three-four times a week for great results.
To reach your peak ability of around 80 to 90% of your maximum heart rate, you’ll need to first subtract your age from 220, or use your rate of perceived exertion. If six is sitting down and 20 is “I can’t do any more”, you should pitch yourself at no more than 18. It’s not an easy feat – but the results physically and mentally are well worth the effort.
If you're new to HIIT, aim to do each exercise for 30 seconds per round, for 4 rounds. If you're a seasoned HIIT hero, aim to do each exercise for 60 seconds for a total of 5 rounds. Between each exercise, take a 15 second rest. We recommend you do at least 10 minute of stretching prior this HIIT workout.