The concept of interval training may be scary, particularly if you’re thinking about the latest version of it. After all, HIIT is the acronym for “high-intensity interval training,” and the high-intensity bit sounds like it could be tough.
Interval training comes in as many diverse forms as there are exercises themselves, and many people may benefit from it. Precisely, interval training is when you switch between periods of high-intensity exercise and recovery periods of lower intensity exercise.
You can turn nearly any activity into an interval session: a gym workout with free weights and other equipment, bike riding—outdoors or stationary, walking and/or jogging outdoors or on a treadmill, or at home with just your body weight.
The Benefits of Interval Training
If you’re still uncertain, consider this: Interval training may be a powerful and convenient way to support you get fit compared with constant moderate exercise without rest periods. Because of the built-in breaks, interval training may help you work out with more intensity and get the benefits.
HIIT produces physiological, metabolic, and physical transformations in the body. The good news is the harder you push—the higher your intensity of effort—the more calories you burn during your workout. This, in turn, causes your body to burn more calories post-workout.
Energy is required to return the body to its pre-exercise state, and the more intense the training concourse, the longer it takes for the body to do this and the more energy is needed to make it happen. This method is kenned as EPOC: excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Cutting to the hunt, your body will burn up to 15 percent more calories in a couple of hours after HIIT contrasted to a steady-pace session, where you exercise at the same intensity during the complete workout.
Apart from the clear potential weight-loss advantages, a study has shown, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, that interval training offers up some serious health benefits of boosting both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, decreasing blood pressure, recovering cholesterol profiles and insulin sensitivity, and burning up abdominal fat while sustaining muscle mass. Study indicates that HIIT may also help you burn subcutaneous fat—the stuff just under the skin.
Interval training may also help slow the progress of, and in some cases even inhibit, muscle loss as you grow older. A 2017 study published in Cell Metabolism found that HIIT improved age-related deterioration in muscle mitochondria, the power generators of muscle cells.
Interval Training Tips for Beginner
Use these guidelines to approach interval workouts cautiously and with conviction:
- Discuss with your physician before starting a new exercise program, particularly the interval training program.
- Take things gradually at first, and see how you feel. You can push harder on succeeding sessions and steadily build to harder exercises. This involves increasing your speed and range of motion as you feel more comfortable.
- How hard you work is up to you. You can modify the intensity by the exercises you choose and the extent of your intervals. Keep in mind, nevertheless, that the higher the intensity, the shorter the work interval.
- Use a constant work-to-rest ratio, meaning the range of your work and recovery periods. For instance, 30 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest, which means the ratio is 2:1. You may pick whatever ratio you wish, just keep with it during the course of your workout session.
- Recovery breaks can be low-intensity workouts or the time when you catch your breath as you get ready for the next working set. To start, use the rest time to sip some water and prepare for what’s next. As you build stamina and strength, add balance exercises during recovery portions, such as standing on one foot or doing heel raises.
- Never sit during the recovery period.
- Move gradually if you feel like you’re not healing between the high-intensity sets. If that does not work, increase the rest intervals by five seconds at a time until you feel you’re ready for the next round.
- Hard breathing, rapid heart rate, and burning muscles are satisfactory measures of pushing your body through intervals. Joint and back pain, lightheadedness, and the incapability to catch your breath indicate a need to slow down and take longer breaks between sets.
We recommend doing HIIT training no more than twice per week, with at least 48 hours between workouts.