▷ What is HIIT training? How to improve your routines

Regardless of which exercise you choose, you’ve probably heard the term “high intensity interval training” or HIIT workout for its acronym in English. But what exactly is HIIT? How to use it to get the most out of every workout? This is a common and reasonable question if you like aerobic exercises like running or stationary biking, or if you like lifting weights or doing strength exercises.

Although you may not know exactly what HIIT is, you may have a rough idea of ​​what it entails. However, like many training protocols in the fitness field, there are some misunderstandings about what HIIT really means and how it affects your fitness routine. Here’s what you need to know about this popular type of workout.

What is HIIT training?

Hiit High Intensity Interval Training is much more than its name suggests. In fact, HIIT refers to a very specific and particular type of training, and it is possible to do interval training without doing actual HIIT training.

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The hallmark of HIIT is based on the repetition of intense work intervals interspersed with periods of recovery. Noam tamir CSCS, founder and CEO of TS Fitness in New York City, told SELF that during his work intervals, he almost challenged himself.

HIIT training, the opposite of steady, gentle exercise

It’s the opposite of running a long, quiet run where you streamline your energy to stay active longer. And it’s a little different from what you’ve probably seen labeled “HIIT” in gen-pop exercise classes, says Tamir. Most of the so-called “HIIT” workouts are actually more accurately described as circuit training or interval training, it states.

When your body does its best in true HIIT training, it works the anaerobic pathways (the ability to break down glucose without oxygen) to produce the necessary energy. This provides an immediate supply of energy, but the amount is very limited, which means that the time you can maintain that maximum effort is quite short, says Tamir.

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Short intervals of intense work

In fact, in a real HIIT workout, you can limit the working interval to about 20 seconds. Thereafter, there is a long recovery time, usually in a ratio of about 2: 1 or 3: 1 from rest to work. So if you are sprinting for 20 seconds, it will rest for 40 seconds to a minute before starting the next interval. This is different from what many people call HIIT, which has longer work hours and shorter breaks, meaning they can’t get their best.

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Recovering before the next interval is essential

Personal trainer and exercise physiologist Francis Cohen has repeatedly told herself that forcing your body to adjust between two very different states can provide excellent cardiovascular results. He added: “Rest time is a necessary condition to start the body. You can make it reach your best state at high intensity. ”

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How do you know if you are working Hiit training well?

To help assess whether you are exercising well, fitness professionals use the Perceived Rate of Exercise (RPE) scale, which describes the level of exercise on a spectrum from 1 to 10, where 10 is the total score for the exercise. maximum effort. The work interval during a HIIT session should be close to the maximum (for example, 9).

What are the benefits of HIIT training?

The benefits of true HIIT are performance-based, especially for those who want to improve in a certain sport: “This is for athletes,” said Tamir. “With true HIIT, you’ll maximize performance and explosive speed“. There are other benefits, including an increase in maximal oxygen uptake. According to a 2017 analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine, (how much oxygen can be used during exercise) and insulin sensitivity (sensitivity of cells to insulin), improvements in blood pressure and cardiovascular function.

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Actual HIIT may be slightly different than what you are used to, you will get many similar benefits from that modified HIIT. Tamir said that with longer work intervals, even if you don’t do them during peak hours, you’ll get good cardiovascular benefits and improvements in muscle strength and endurance.

Tamir says that because HIIT increases your heart rate during these effortsIt can also help you lose weight (if this is your goal) because it burns more calories per minute than less intense work. For people lacking in time, this is also a convenient way to exercise.

What workouts work with HIIT?

You may be more familiar with HIIT as a cardiovascular exercise and, in fact, they are cardio-based, whether you’re running, cycling, or rowing. But you can also use HIIT in strength exercises. Fitness expert and celebrity trainer Rob Sulaver said that HIIT routines that involve weight, such as weights or dumbbells, increase heart rate while building muscles. Make sure you choose a sport that gives you explosive power. Consider doing push-ups, squats, or swings with heavy objects, rather than exercises like bench presses or side push-ups.

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What are some bugs or security issues to avoid?

When it comes to sports choices, Tamir sees a common mistake, that is, people will make efforts incorrectly. Tamir said: “The safest action is to progressively gain weight“. “When gaining weight, the technique is really effective. If you do a maximum effort without being in shape, you can put a lot of pressure on certain muscles and joints ”. This can cause injury. Gradually increase the pace to reach a high intensity.

Proper warm-up is crucial for Hiit training

Whether you are doing Aerobic HIIT or Strength HIIT. This should include active exercises like hip extension and thoracic rotation, as well as slow repetitive exercises intended for HIIT (like squats). Tamir said: “The more intense the training, the more important the warm-up.” “It is like preparing your nervous system. If your body is not ready for this work, the result can be an injury ”.

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Scheduling a long HIIT session is a very common mistake

Said you do your best you will not be able to maintain a 45 minute Hiit workout. Instead, a real HIIT workout looks like this: eight runs of up to 20 seconds, with one minute of rest in between. This means that your HIIT workout (excluding warm-up and cool-down) will only exceed 10 minutes.

Modified HIIT

Which brings us to our last mistake: there’s nothing that says you need to do HIIT. traditional if you want to do some hard work interval training. In fact, according to Tamir, the modified HIIT that we often see in class, and what Tamir uses for some of her group sessions, will likely be more accessible and the best option for the general athlete.

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Plus, whether you’re doing a real HIIT workout or interval training, don’t underestimate the importance of prioritizing recoveryStrenuous and frequent exercise without taking a day off will lead to a decrease in your physical condition, but can also lead to injury, fatigue or exhaustion. Limit HIIT training to one or two exercises per week, and make sure to balance exercise with simple workouts and at least one recovery day per week.

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