Activ8 Advice: The Ongoing Benefits of HIIT Training

Popularised more than a decade ago, high intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest.

HIIT is an efficient and effective way of training that delivers fast results. The key premise is that we work harder over a shorter amount of training time and the work/rest intervals are manipulated to allow us to work at a higher intensity.

HIIT was initially used for improving cardiovascular fitness, increasing the uptake of V02 max, which is the heart’s ability to pump as much oxidised blood with each stroke as possible. The effort required is 80% or above of that individual’s heart rate maximum which is easy to check with personal heart rate monitors. It is this hard effort that necessitates the need for a limited recovery interval.

Whether your goal is to improve your fitness, lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, lose weight, strengthen skeletal muscle or help get your blood sugar under control, a few minutes of HIIT a day is as effective as much longer periods of moderate-paced running, cycling, swimming or other forms of traditional cardio.

HIIT is the ideal workout for a busy schedule, and one which can be done anywhere especially in the comfort of your own home, allowing you to constantly add variety and new exercises, as well as adjusting your intensity and periods of rest.

Other great benefits of HIIT are:

  • It’s efficient
  • You’ll burn more fat
  • You’ll build a healthier heart
  • You don’t need any equipment
  • It promotes weight loss without muscle
  • You’ll increase your metabolism
  • You can do it anywhere
  • It is a great challenge