What Is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training is popping up in fitness facilities everywhere, but what is it and what are the benefits? Just as it sounds, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is bouts of hard work followed by a period of active recovery, rather than just steady pace exercise. Intervals can vary depending on the trainer, the exercise, and the exerciser. They can focus on cardiovascular fitness, strength training or both. Intervals can vary anywhere from 30 second sprint with a 2 minute walk, to 20 seconds of all out punching with a 10 second rest.

HIIT Helps With Strength & Conditioning

HIIT is a growing trend in the fitness industry as it provides the same benefits as traditional aerobic exercise including increasing VO2 Max, strength, and burning calories, but in less time.  A person’s VO2 Max, or the maximum amount of oxygen their body can consume and use, is a measure of cardiovascular fitness and maximal aerobic power. Increasing VO2 max makes your body more efficient at using oxygen, so you aren’t panting for air while chasing your child or going up a flight of stairs.  Just as in strength training, the brain may say the muscles are done, but ignoring your brain, pushing through one more, results in strength gains. HIIT not only pushes muscles, but also the lungs, to their upper limit. Keep it up, and your previous upper limit is long gone and you’re working even harder. The body adapts to getting pushed and becomes more efficient at doing its jobs, and soon, it can go harder, longer.

HIIT Is A Time Saver

Not only is your VO2 max increasing, but the higher intensity also gets the job done in less time. It seems everyone is strapped for time these days, so why not burn the same calories in less time? Better yet, throw strength training intervals in with your cardio intervals and kill two birds with one stone! At Summit Fit Dojo, HIIT plays a part in many workouts. They are designed so that a beginner can be in class with someone who has been coming for years, and both get a great work out strengthening the muscles and the lungs! With strength gains and an increase in VO2 Max, you can improve your health, race time, and simply be able to keep up with your kids! This article was written by guest writer: Krystal Loiler, CPT Summit Fit Dojo

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