HIIT is The Most Efficient Workout! | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
image description

HIIT is The Most Efficient Workout!

HIIT is For Everyone!

As a personal trainer, one thing that I am often asked is what is the most efficient way to work out if I don’t have a lot of time? If you’re looking to build muscle, burn calories, and boost metabolism all in one workout and in 30-minutes or less, then High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is for you!

What is HIIT?

HIIT training is a type of workout where you give maximum effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by short recovery periods. It trains and conditions both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems and gets your heart rate up while improving your cardiovascular fitness level. It burns more fat and calories in less time, and also burns more fat at a faster rate.

There are plenty of benefits to doing HIIT. They include – improved cardiovascular fitness, helps build lean muscle and reduce fat, reduces the risk of high blood pressure and high blood sugar, and assists in retaining the muscle you already have. It can be done anywhere, anytime, burns calories after your done, improves your athletic endurance, increases you metabolism, requires no equipment and offers varied workouts to prevent boredom.

But, in order to get the most from this type of workout, you must work at a HIGH intensity – going all-out for each exercise you do. As you get tired, the amount you are able to do will lessen, but the intensity should always remain high. HIIT is a type of circuit training with a protocol that requires you to work at maximum effort, followed by a recovery period.

There are many ways to create high intensity intervals by simply changing the timing of the work versus how long you rest. You can use many types of training to achieve this such as cycling, running, body weight, plyometric and strength training. In my boot camp class, I like to use 30 or 40 second intervals with minimal rest. One of the most popular type of HIIT is “Tabata Training” that is comprised of 20 seconds of all-out effort followed by 10 seconds of recovery, 8 times for a total of 4 minutes.

Studies have shown that you can burn 10 to 15 calories per minute, but the real bonus is the amount you burn after you’re finished! After your workout, a process known as EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) begins in your body. This is basically a process of increased oxygen intake to correct the body’s ‘oxygen debt’ brought about by exercise. The more INTENSE the exercise, the greater this ‘oxygen debt.’ Remember, it is intensity not duration that offers this added calorie burn. Your body increases oxygen consumption to restore itself to a resting state.

HIIT is for everyone, because “intensity” is personal to each of us. It’s great for those who want to try new workouts or for those looking for a bigger challenge.

A Few Tips to Get You Started on Your HIIT Workout:

Always warm up and cool down for at least 5 minutes before and after HIIT workouts.
Take time to recover from HIIT workouts. Take at least one to two days off per week from HIIT workouts.
Start slowly and build endurance and ability.
Choose to do modifications for movements that are too challenging.
If for whatever reason you need to stop training in the middle of your HIIT workout, don’t stop completely because your blood can pool in your extremities and cause lightheadedness. Just stop the intensity and cool down slowly.

*If you are new to this type of training, be sure to check with your physician before you begin.

Quick HIIT Workout

50 Crunches
40 Jump Squats
30 Push-Ups
20 Split Jumps (Jumping Lunges)
10 Tricep Dips
30 sec Burpees
Repeat 2X

By Teresa Zacharias who is a Personal Trainerat the Barrie YMCA

For more information about how to incorporate HIIT into your workouts, please visit www.ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca for a list of HIIT classes available at your local YMCA.

Get inspired by visiting us at www.whythey.ca. Join the Y between January 1 and February 28 and pay $0 join fees.

Leave a Reply