High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a training technique that alternates bouts of high intensity cardiorespiratory training with periods of recovery. The goal? To increase the overall intensity of your workout and take your fitness to the next level!
Typically, cardiovascular exercise is performed at a moderate, sustainable intensity level. The cardiovascular intensity found in a HIIT workout entails a push to all-out work that leaves you feeling breathless. Following this period, you will recover for a time frame that is equal or greater to the amount of time engaged in maximum cardiovascular effort.
According to the American Council on Exercise, benefits of a HIIT workout include:
- Improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness
- Decreased fasting insulin and increased insulin sensitivity
- Reduced abdominal and subcutaneous (just under the skin) fat
- Time efficiency: experience the benefits of exercise with a shorter duration workout and burn more calories afterwards
HIIT places a greater demand for oxygen and energy to recover AFTER your workout and thus maximizes excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Therefore, you will burn more calories after a HIIT workout compared to steady state training.
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McCall, P. (2014, August). 7 things to know about excess post exercise oxygen consumption. American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/resources/pros/expert-articles/5008/7-things-to-know-about-excess-post-exercise-oxygen-consumption-epoc/
McCall, P. (2014, September). Benefits of HIIT Training: 8 Reasons HIIT Workouts are So Effective. American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/resources/everyone/blog/5073/8-reasons-hiit-workouts-are-so-effective/
Vargo, K. (2017, August). High intensity interval training: Why it works. American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/resources/pros/expert-articles/6361/high-intensity-interval-training-why-it-works/