What is HIIT and is it worth the hype?

By Sam Wooldridge from Coffs Coast Health Club

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and it will take your breath away – quite literally.

HIIT is a style of workout designed for us to give 100%, maximum effort at all times and is characterised by short intense bursts of exercise separated by brief rest periods (if only they were just a little bit longer…)

People love HIIT and as a result, it’s incredibly popular worldwide at present. And why, you may ask? Perhaps because it has been proven to be one of the best styles of workout for reducing body fat. And provided you do it right, it will also increase metabolism, boost endurance levels, decrease chances of cardiovascular disease, increase muscle and regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.

HIIT is also a very efficient style of training; the short intense rounds of exercise generally last between 20 and 90 seconds and are designed to get your heart rate up high and to keep it there. HIIT workouts can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how much you can handle!

Intensity is the key so if you want to get the most out of these workouts, you need to push yourself to the limit in each round, leaving nothing in the tank. HIIT is the opposite of marathon or distance training which is about a steady pace and endurance.

In HIIT training, you go hard.

Tabata is a specific form of HIIT training and takes its name from the Japanese researcher, Izumi Tabata. One of his studies best demonstrates how good HIIT training really is.

This one is also a great starting point if you’ve never done HITT before –

  • Cycling – duration 4 minutes

– 20 seconds high intensity then 10 seconds of low intensity (continuously for 4 minutes)

Tabata’s study proved that 4 mins of HIIT had more improvement on participants’ VO2 max than 45 minutes of cardio at a steady pace (research was based on both activities being done four times in one week).

So, if you’re keen to give HIIT a go, remember to go all out with it.

Good luck!

Coffs Coast Health Club is located at Moonee Marketplace with another gym also located in Toormina