HIIT Workouts – How Hard is Hard Enough?

HIIT workouts


If maintaining or losing weight is your goal then you probably have heard of the very popular form of exercise, HIIT workouts. HIIT is the acronym for high-intensity interval training and has the same concepts as Tabata training or fartlek.

HIIT has been proven by research for the ability to burn fat more efficiently than any other type of workout and this is why it can help you move towards your fitness goals. This, in conjunction with a healthy eating plan, will keep you in red hot shape and bouncing with energy!

Personally, I wouldn’t do any more than 2-3 workouts a week of this kind and alternate with low impact cardio on the other days. If you’re training for an endurance sport these will be the days that you get in some easy recovery miles and also work in some other strengthening workouts. Stretching, yoga, pilates and recovery are just as important to stay injury-free and rested.

With this type of training, the harder you push the greater the results. There is no simple way to put it! What you are trying to do is push yourself to where you feel that “Holy S**t” this is uncomfortable feeling.

This is where the word HIGH fits into the whole INTERVAL TRAINING picture.  It’s not high intensity unless the heart rate is elevated to near 90-plus percentage of its maximum, whereas doing traditional interval training, brings the heart rate to around 75 to 85 per cent of max.

It’s an amazingly efficient workout if done properly. 20-30 mins are all you need (you will be dying to stop by then) and it brings about some impressive VO2 max endurance gains that may otherwise take twice the amount of time. HIIT workouts do increase cortisol levels and is viewed as a stress on the body, which is why it’s important to keep to each alternate day to allow for recovery.

For an effective session, you could alternate 30 seconds of sprinting with 30 seconds of walking/spinning, or you could engage in a series of bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, split lunges and burpees doing each for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between.

The key is to do the efforts like there is a cheetah chasing you

Go all out and look forward to that rest period. Yes, it is hard and towards the end, you will be really pushing it to not give up but by acknowledging the fact that this is THE purpose of the workout before you do it, will mentally help. You will probably make some funny facial moves and grunting noises too..but try and maintain your composure, remember the mind leads the body. It’s a very animalistic and primitive way to exercise but well worth the sweat and funny looks (which is why I do it in the comfort of my house).

Here’s an example of a workout here

NOTE: If you have issues with your health please visit your doctor before you start raising your heart rate.. this is not for everyone!

image source {thinkstock}

health and fitness coach

Related Images:

Scroll to top