HIIT – What is it and how can you benefit?

– by Aaron “Azza” Laurence

 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)… you either love it or you hate it, but chances are you choose it anyway, at least for 1 or 2 of your weekly workouts.

HIIT is a very popular way of training to achieve some of the most commonly sought after results including weight-loss, improved cardio, increased muscle endurance and better overall movement and agility.  I have been using this type of training at Evolution Bondi for over 10 years now with incredible success. 

 

Evo - Ropes

 

For me, and as the name suggests, it is all about maintaining very “High” levels of “Intensity” through the workout to deliver maximum energy expenditure resulting in maximum calorie burn and cardio vascular output. 

The “Interval” part is crucial in terms of ensuring that you get just enough rest between working sets to keep the body working as hard as possible . 

The “Training” can be anything from weights and running to plyometrics and cycling. It can be programmed in any number of ways and can be modified to suit a range of different fitness levels. Basically – you do not have to be an elite athlete to enjoy the benefits of HIIT.

 

Evo - Sand

 

Most trainers will have they own ideas and favourite exercises and session structures for their HIIT classes but here are few key points that work for me:

EXERCISE SELECTION 

I use exercises that will get the heart rate up and keep it there. Anything that involves jumping usually does the trick so things like Squat jumps, Skip Lunges, Lateral Jumps and Burpees are usually on the menu.

Weights always play a big part in my HIIT workouts and I usually look for Compound exercises, these and exercises that incorporate multiple muscle groups to perform big movements that require more blood flow ensuring that high heart rate factor. 

EXERCISE COMBINATIONS

I always look for way to keep the body working hard and the best way to do this is to look at which exercises go best together. A pretty good rule of thumb for me is to alternate between Upper and Lower body exercises. This ensures that once you have worked one part of the body , say upper body ( Chest, arms and shoulders) then instead of resting for 60 sec or more to let that area recover you instead go straight onto lower body (Legs) after just a 10-20sec rest and you are then able to maintain a high heart rate. 

WORK TO REST RATIO

This will often depend on the above points – the exercise selection and combinations. It will also depend on the fitness levels of the people doing the workout. My favourite is 50 sec work with 20 sec rest, but good old TABATA is always at hand. That’s 20 sec work with 10 sec rest and can put people off HIIT for ever if not used properly haha!

Of the thousands of clients I have trained at Bondi the majority have loved the training so I will not be moving away from HIIT training anytime soon. It is the way that I train myself and makes it a lot easier to put clients through it when you know exactly what they are feeling having been through it yourself. 

 

Evo - Boxing 2

 

You can join Azza at his Bondi Evolution group for one week free here and see the amazing results for yourself: FREE WEEK TRIAL

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